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Youth boot camp operator gets prison for sex assault, kidnapping

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeBlackmail and Extortion

A man who operated a youth boot camp in Pasadena was sentenced to state prison Friday for charges including sexual assault, kidnapping and extortion stemming from two cases, prosecutors said.

Kelvin Bernard McFarland, 43, was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

McFarland pleaded no contest last year to child abuse, kidnapping, false imprisonment, extortion and unlawful use of a badge, a misdemeanor.

He also pleaded no contest to sexual penetration by a foreign object, oral copulation of a person under 16, lewd act on a child and unlawful sexual intercourse -- charges from a second case.

Prosecutors alleged that in May 2011, McFarland was driving in Pasadena when he spotted a girl walking along the street during school hours. He stopped to question her, then handcuffed her, placed her in his car and told her to direct him to a relative's home.

At the relative's home, he demanded money from her father to enroll the 14-year-old in his program. The girl's father mistook McFarland for a truancy officer when he flashed a badge, Pasadena police said.

In a separate case, he was charged with felony counts of assaulting two 14-year-old girls in March and December 2004.

A former Marine who liked to be called "Sgt. Mac," he founded McFarland's Family First Growth and boasted that his tough-love tactics and military-strict discipline were the perfect formula for reforming gang members, taming runaways and getting through to troublemakers. 

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Twitter: @Sam_Schaefer

Samantha.Schaefer@latimes.com

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