Substance Abuse Counselor Avoids Jail Time After Having Sex With Men In Custody

Rachele Johnson was given five years probation and will have to register as a sex offender. 

A counselor at a court-mandated drug treatment facility who had sex with at least two clients has avoided jail time and will serve probation instead. She will, however, have to register as a sex offender. 

Rachele Johnson, 26, of Leslie, Michigan, will be required to attend therapy sessions as part of the five-year probationary period, a judge ordered Sept. 25, according to The Detroit Free Press, a Detroit, Michigan-based news organization. Johnson pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and misconduct in office.

Johnson's place of employment had been the House of Commons, a state-run substance abuse center.

As a night shift worker, Johnson was often the only employee at the facility in the evening hours. The two men who she had sex with claimed the encounters were mutually agreed upon, however, given the client-counselor relationship, sex with Johnson was technically not consensual.

In the sentencing proceedings, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk noted that Johnson was not coercive in the sexual relations, according to The Detroit Free Press. He also praised Johnson on her decision to seek her own mental health treatment after the encounters.

But Draganchuk said Johnson's actions undermined the safety of the facility, noting that she had given the men cell phones and allowed them to leave to purchase alcohol, according to testimony from the men. Johnson made sure to engage in sexual activities in rooms she knew did not have cameras and created fake doctors' appointments as a cover-up for the activity.

[Photo: Ingham County Jail] 

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