Former Darlington social worker struck off over US child abuse

    A children’s social worker who sexually abused a six-year-old girl in the US more than 20 years ago has been struck off the social care register.

    Dwight McGuire sexually assaulted the girl and indecently exposed himself to her on several occasions over the course of a year from December 1988 while living with her family.

    The girl was so distressed by the experience that she waited almost 20 years before reporting it to the police in 2007, a General Social Care Council conduct committee found. McGuire was working as a children’s social worker at Darlington Council at the time the offence came to light.

    McGuire, a US national, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition in Greene County, Ohio, in April 2009 and was sentenced to one year imprisonment.

    The committee decided removal from the register was the only appropriate sanction because sexual abuse of children is “particularly serious, especially so when the registrant is in a position of trust”.

    The committee took into account the fact that McGuire, who was not present at the hearing in London, had pleaded guilty to the offence in court, had expressed remorse and had undergone counselling shortly after it happened.

    But it concluded that confidence in social care services would be “undermined” if he continued to practise as a social worker.

    A spokesperson for Darlington Council said: “Once we were aware of the charges against Mr McGuire, his employment by Darlington Council ceased.

    “We also spoke to all of the families he had been working with and none of them raised any issues or concerns.”

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