NAMPA -- A former juvenile corrections nurse accused of sexually abusing underage inmates has been arrested in California.
Valerie Kristen Lieteau, 41, was arrested Tuesday near Barstow, California. According to the California Highway Patrol, the suspect was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Lieteau is being held without bail pending her extradition back to Idaho to face charges of sexual battery of a minor and sexual contact with a juvenile offender. Authorities found out about the Idaho warrant after Lieteau's arrest.
According to a tort claim, Lieteau was a nurse at the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections facility in Nampa when she sexually abused at least four boys between 2008 and 2011.
One victim, identified in court documents as 15-year-old John Doe IV, was groomed for sex by Lieteau "in a manner commonly used by child molesters," according to the tort. The suspect is accused of having sex with the victim in the nurse's office at the facility. Another female employee would often act as a lookout, warning Lieteau if anyone approached, lawyers allege.
After the teenager was released from the facility, Lieteau made several trips to his hometown - a three hour drive from Nampa - to have sex with him, according to court documents. The former nurse is accused of stalking the boy by telephone, showing up unannounced in his hometown and threatening him.
Lieteau, who is accused of having sexual relationships with several other teens incarcerated at the center, plied John Doe IV and other boys with prescription medications from the nurse's office as well as "street drugs," according to the tort.
The teens say they tried to report the abuse, but were ignored.
"John Doe IV and other John Does wrote notes to then IDJC Director Betty Grimm, and slipped them under her office door, pleading for help. Ms. Grimm provided little or no response other than to instruct John Does that they had to go through proper channels or 'lines' to complain about the facility or staff," attorney Bruce Skaug wrote in a 2014 tort filing.
Lieteau denied having a sexual relationship with any of the inmates during a police interview in April 2014.
Several of the teens who say they were abused in the correctional facility are seeking damages. Lieteau is one of at least three female staffers accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with underage inmates.
A former supervisor at the facility, Julie McCormick, was convicted in 2014 of having sex with a 15-year-old inmate. McCormick was released less than one year later in February after a period of retained jurisdiction.