A major US newspaper has admitted its story about the alleged sexual abuse of teenagers by former California car wash owners was inaccurate and misleading.
A report in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, based on a secret police report, described a network of alleged abuse in which teenagers at the California car washing business were sexually abused by owners and employees.
The Times story said the report was based on interviews with more than 30 former and current employees and other former customers of the car wash, which closed in 2011.
The newspaper said the allegations were detailed in a report from the FBI and the California Department of Justice, which oversees the state’s police and prosecutors.
It also said a former Sierra Carwash employee, who did not want to be identified, told the newspaper she worked at the business from 1994 until 2011.
She said she witnessed the abuse at the hands of two men who worked for the business.
She said the abuse started as early as 2001.
The report said one former employee was a senior manager at the carwash who worked with one of the men.
She told the Times the employee was also sexually assaulted by another former employee, but she was not named because she feared retaliation from the men who allegedly abused her.
It said the two men allegedly sexually assaulted at least one other person, who is now dead.
Investigators said the woman who first spoke with the Times said she feared for her life and that she had been threatened by other women.
The investigation into the allegations of abuse began in 2007, the Times reported.
A spokeswoman for the newspaper did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.