Counselor Charged With Sexual Abuse

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — A counselor employed at a Decatur faith-based organization is accused of making sexual advances towards a woman he was supposed to be helping.

Investigators with the Decatur  Police Department say on Nov. 8 they received a report of sexual abuse that occurred at the Baptist Children’s Home.  The victim, an adult female, had been attending therapy sessions with her counselor, Jonathan Minnon. 

Investigators say during one of the sessions Minnon made sexual advances towards the victim and touched her inappropriately. 

The case was assigned to Detective Burleson of the Violent Crimes Unit.  Investigators say they have discovered “additional evidence  that corroborated the victim’s initial claim,” but they will not release what that evidence is due to the ongoing investigation.

A warrant for Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree was obtained on Tuesday and Minnon turned himself into authorities Wednesday .  He was booked into the Decatur City Jail and later released on $500.00 bond. 

Currently under state law investigators tell WHNT News 19 they could not charge Minnon with any other crimes related to this case.  In other states there are “person in position of trust” laws, but not in Alabama for counselors or doctors and their relationships with patients, according to Decatur Police investigators.

WHNT News 19 received this statement from Rod Marshall, President/CEO, Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries.

“The Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries has a rich heritage of Christian service to children and families in Alabama.  The services we provide include long-term residential care, short-term residential care, family care for homeless mothers with dependent children, foster-care, and professional counseling from a Christian perspective. On December 10, 2012, our senior administrative leadership was made aware of an allegation of professional misconduct by one of our employees.  We take all allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously and are conducting internal investigations, as well as cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities to determine if the allegation of misconduct is founded.  The allegation of misconduct does not involve any of the children in our care or any minors.  We hope to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”   

Under Alabama law sexual abuse in the second degree is described as:

(a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if: (1) He subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old; or (b) Sexual abuse in second degree is a Class A misdemeanor, except that if a person commits a second or subsequent offense of sexual abuse in the second degree within one year of another sexual offense, the offense is a Class C felony.

(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §2321; Act 2000-728, p. 1566, §1.)

Lack of consent. (a) Whether or not specifically stated, it is an element of every offense defined in this article, with the exception of subdivision (a)(3) of Section 13A-6-65, that the sexual act was committed without consent of the victim. (b) Lack of consent results from: (3) If the offense charged is sexual abuse, any circumstances, in addition to forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent, in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor’s conduct.

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