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Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center - employee hit with felony charge



--- Quote ---Wernle counselor charged with 2 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor
by Jason Truitt, The Palladium-Item, December 11 - 2019

RICHMOND, Ind. — A counselor at Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center faces a pair of felony charges after allegedly admitting to performing sex acts with a resident of the facility.

Sean M. Johnson, 21, of Richmond originally was arrested on a preliminary count of Level 1 felony child molesting, but when formal charges were filed Friday, that changed to two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor (one a Level 4 felony and the other a Level 5).

Johnson is accused of twice performing sex acts with a 14-year-old resident of Wernle.

The incidents came to light when the victim took a weekend trip home earlier this month. During that visit, the victim told someone that they twice had had sexual contact with Johnson on the same day.

The first incident allegedly took place while the two were taking out the trash and the second in Johnson's room.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, a review of security camera footage at Wernle showed Johnson and the victim duck into a blind spot behind the trash receptacles at the facility and remain out of sight for about five minutes.

When police interviewed Johnson about the allegations, he admitted having sexual contact with the victim, the affidavit says.

Johnson doesn't have a previous criminal history in Wayne County, according to online court records. He remained in the Wayne County Jail as of mid-afternoon Friday with bail set at $50,000.

A Level 4 felony carries a standard sentence of six years with a range of two to 12. The standard sentence for a Level 5 felony is three years with a range of one to six.

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