Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho ruled last Tuesday that eight young men he had placed at Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead will no longer be required to stay there.
“For the record, based on certain allegations that have been made known to the court very recently, these defendants who are participants in the youth part are no longer mandated to stay at Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch,” the judge said, according to a transcript of the ruling.
“If they voluntarily choose to stay, for whatever reason, they may, but they are not mandated to stay,” the ruling stated. “If they chose to leave, there will be no consequences for this court.”
Any children who choose to leave will be placed at another facility, according to a court spokesman.
The names of seven of the young men were withheld due to their ages; the eighth resident affected by the ruling is legally an adult.
Thaddaeus Hill, executive director at Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
It was not clear what the “certain allegations” referred to by the judge are.
Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Unified Court System in New York, said the allegations “were forwarded to law enforcement — at which point it becomes a criminal investigation.”
But the Oct. 1 transcript says the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, represented by assistant district attorney Tanya Rickoff, who is part of the DA’s Narcotics Bureau, appeared before the judge as he made his ruling.
The transcript also said the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society was present, representing the eight ranch residents.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office did not return a call seeking comment.
Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch was hit last month with a lawsuit filed by Andres Alexander Ramos, who lived there in 1995 when he was 12. Mr. Ramos claimed in the lawsuit that he was sexually assaulted and beaten by older residents at the home more than 20 years ago. The lawsuit says employees at the ranch “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately supervise” him and other residents there.