DOVER — The mother of an alleged victim of sexual abuse by a drug and alcohol counselor testified she unsuccessfully tried to voice concerns about the relationship in Family Court and to other officials.
Something just didn’t feel right about her 16-year-old son’s night-time trips with counselor Rebecca Q. Winters (also identified as Adams) of now-closed Crossroads of Delaware, the witness testified in Kent County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.
The juvenile initially denied allegations presented by a Dover Police detective on Aug. 13, 2015, the mother testified, but he admitted to a sexual relationship with the 30-year-old woman a day later.
The youth again denied the relationship during an interview with police a couple days later, though his mother said he told her he would lie to protect himself and Ms. Winters from abuse due to the alleged affair.
Also, the mother said Ms. Winters called her after the notice from Dover police and said “I can’t believe anyone would say that” and vowed to speak with authorities.
Ms. Winters was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust on Aug. 24, 2015, and indicted on Nov. 2, 2015.
Two counts of providing alcohol to a minor were also filed.
The mother testified she had expressed worries to a public defender, Family Court judge, a Crossroads of Delaware administrator and a Probation and Parole officer.
The trial, overseen by Judge Jeffrey Clark, is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today with the alleged victim slated to testify for what could be several hours. The jury consists of five men and eight women.
The prosecution expects to conclude its presentation by Thursday, followed by the defense making its case.
Deputy Attorney General Kathy Dickerson is prosecuting the case, with attorney John Malik representing Ms. Winters.
At one point, according to testimony, Ms. Winters allegedly told her a positive drug test by her son would be overlooked since it was close to his birthday, which alarmed the mother.
The juvenile’s family sued Crossroads and Ms. Winters previous to the indictment, and the mother testified that a monetary judgment was secondary to making sure no other child would experience what her son allegedly did.
Any compensation, which the mother said was not guaranteed, would be put in a trust for her son to be accessed when he was “30 to 40” years old.
“I wanted them to be held accountable,” she said. “I didn’t want any other children put through what my son was put through.”
The mother said her son became withdrawn after allegations surfaced, to the point of not leaving the house for six months for fear of repercussions from others.
While her son attended Crossroads of Delaware from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, due to a court order, the mother testified that Ms. Winters began to pick him up around 5 p.m. several nights a week for what the counselor said were trips to the movies, and meetings as part of group sessions.
Some nights, the child would arrive home as late as 11 p.m., according to testimony.
The juvenile began attending Crossroads in April 2015, and said that by June, Ms. Winters was picking him up more frequently after the daytime sessions were completed.
In announcing the arrest last year, Dover police said investigation found that the alleged relationship spanned from June 1 to Aug. 15.
The mother testified that the State of Delaware had arranged transportation for her son to and from Crossroads, but Ms. Winters took the role for all trips.
The mother wondered how the counseling service could afford to pay for staffing that appeared to be ongoing seven days a week, she testified.
At one point, she testified, her son returned home with a huge mark described as a “hickie” on his neck, and Ms. Winters allegedly explained that he had been “making out” with a girl in the back seat of the Crossroads van.
Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org