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Duluth woman's foster license revoked after son accused of sex with child

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Duluth woman's foster license revoked after son accused of sex with child
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

DULUTH -- A Duluth woman has had her child foster care license revoked because a child allegedly was sexually abused while in her care.

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Barbara Ellen Randolph received the revocation order from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Under Minnesota law, she has the right to appeal the revocation.

A man who identified himself as her grandson answered a call to Randolph's home and said she didn't want to comment.

A Department of Human Services spokeswoman said Randolph has 10 days remaining to appeal and is allowed to continue operating as a foster home in the interim.

Michael James Randolph, 28, faces a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a foster child younger than 13 in Barbara Randolph's home, according to a criminal complaint filed April 4. Duluth police said Michael James Randolph is Barbara Randolph's son.

The complaint said the sexual conduct occurred last summer and was first reported to Duluth police March 5 after the alleged victim, a girl, confided to a therapist assigned to work with foster children.

Michael James Randolph's case is scheduled for a jury trial Aug. 27. He's represented by public defender Jeremy Downs, who couldn't be reached for a comment Wednesday.

The complaint listed a Duluth address Michael James Randolph's, but the accompanying statement of probable cause said his address was unknown and it was believed "he may attempt to return to North Dakota."

In a March 15 interview a child abuse resource center in Duluth, the girl said she had reported the incident to her foster mother but wasn't believed.

The revocation letter to Barbara Randolph cited a St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services investigation that found a foster child had been sexually abused in her home. "You were aware of the abuse and you failed to report the information as required," the letter said. "In addition, it was determined that you allowed an individual with a criminal history to move into your home and you failed to submit a background study."

Michael James Randolph previously was convicted of a misdemeanor burglary charge in 2006 and sentenced to probation, according to Minnesota court records.

Barbara Randolph initially was licensed to offer child foster care on June 1, 2011, according to Department of Human Services records. Her licensing agency is North Homes Children and Family Services, which is based in Bemidji and has offices in Duluth and Grand Rapids. The revocation letter said North Homes recommended the action.

No one at the agency could be reached for a comment on Wednesday.

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