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Boot camp counselor takes plea deal in youth abuse case

A man who owned a Los Angeles boot camp for troubled youths has accepted a plea deal and will serve jail time after teenagers claimed they were punched, slapped and stomped during the program, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. 

Edgar Alvarado, 38, was sentenced Monday to 60 days in county jail, four years of felony probation and 30 days of community labor. In addition, Alvarado is prohibited from ever again engaging in any kind of counseling, training or care of minors, whether or not the position is paid. 

Alvarado's sentencing is part of a plea deal that nixed two counts of child abuse, corporal injury to a child, and sexual battery by restraint and assault with a stun gun or Taser, according to a district attorney's office spokeswoman. 

Over three years, teens were hospitalized after attending 180 Recon, a boot camp focused on "breaking down" teenagers in order to build them into positive community leaders. Youth who attended the camp, established in 2009, may have used drugs or alcohol, had a bad attitude or were deemed disrespectful. 

Authorities learned that youths who attended the camp suffered physical overload and exhaustion from the regimen assigned by Alvarado, who lists himself as a former Marine on the website. He and a co-worker were accused of repeatedly hitting nine boys and two girls between the ages of 12 and 17 years old; one of the female victims also accused Alvarado of touching her inappropriately. 

The claims of abuse happened at the company's Camp Coulter in the Angeles Crest Mountains and at its East L.A. headquarters. A prosecutor said the camp lacked medical supervision and many of the victims' ailments went untreated, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.

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Twitter: @AliciaDotBanks

alicia.banks@latimes.com

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