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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
A 17-year-old foster girl living with a relative of Elijah Dukes told police the Devil Rays outfielder got her pregnant.
Detectives believe the sex was consensual and no crime was commited, but the incident has sparked a state investigation into the foster home.
Police say an anonymous tip prompted them to look into the matter. In May, investigators went to the West Tampa home of Dukes' step-grandmother, Johnnie Johnson, according to Tampa police reports.
Johnson told police that the teen girl, whose name was not released, lived in Johnson's foster home until she turned 18 in April.
Johnson said she learned of the pregnancy about two weeks before the teen left the home.
The girl, expected to give birth Nov. 5, told investigators she and Dukes had consensual sex on the living room sofa. She said Dukes got angry when she and another person confronted him about the pregnancy.
"Yeah, we sat down and told him and he got mad and threw a Gatorade at me," she told investigators.
Devil Rays management said Dukes would not comment on the investigation.
"He will not discuss personal matters," said team spokesman Chris Costello.
Dukes' mother, Phyllis Dukes, said she didn't know about the allegations.
"He's doing well on the field," she said. "He's doing so good. It's just every time he turns around there's something coming at him."
Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.
[Last modified June 12, 2007, 21:42:35]
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