‘It was forever ago’: Teen testifies about his alleged affair with drug counselor

Rebecca Q. Winters

DOVER — Testifying in a monotone voice and displaying no outward emotion, a 17-year-old boy spent several hours Tuesday recounting an alleged sexual relationship with his drug and alcohol counselor in 2015.

The youth also described alleged frequent marijuana use and alcohol consumption with Rebecca Q. Winters, 30, while at Milford-based Crossroads of Delaware, and professing his love for her.

The duo allegedly discussed marriage and moving away together once the youth turned 18, according to testimony.

Ms. Winters (also known as Adams) is charged with 36 counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, and two counts of providing alcohol to a minor. Investigation began in August 2015 after the Division of Family Services received an anonymous tip from Crossroads reporting a possible inappropriate affair.

The minor claimed he first denied the alleged relationship to police and his mother to protect himself and Ms. Winters. But he eventually reported the affair to his family, medical staff, child support services, and police.

Now, the juvenile said, “I really don’t have no feelings for her.”

Under cross examination, the youth acknowledged that he reported different dates for when the alleged relationship began and ended, and his latest testimony that Ms. Winters wearing pants during their first alleged encounter differed from two earlier statements that she wore a dress.

The minor testified Tuesday that he has never specifically known the exact date of the last alleged interaction with his former counselor. He did believe it occurred in August before the alleged relationship was discovered,

“It was forever ago,” the juvenile said. “I’m not really good with dates and stuff like that.”

After the allegations were lodged, the teen claimed that Ms. Winters instructed him, if caught, to admit to a timeline showing he was 16 and she was 29 during their relationship.

Dover Police arrested Ms. Winters on Aug. 24, 2015, and she was indicted in Kent County Superior Court on Nov. 2, 2015. Judge Jeffrey Clark declared a mistrial in Oct. 2016 in the midst of a detective’s testimony, and a second proceeding was scheduled.

Alleged encounters detailed

According to the juvenile, he and Ms. Winters allegedly had oral sex and intercourse two to three times a week during a relationship, oftentimes in a Crossroads van in Wal-Mart parking lots in Cheswold and Camden, twice at her Dover home, at Crossroads, Redner’s in Camden, and at the Dover Mall after trips to the movies.

The minor claimed that he and Ms. Adams often smoked marijuana together as she drove him to and from a Crossroads day program. He testified that she once bought Cherry Smirnoff vodka for on their way to the beach when he couldn’t find any drugs to buy. The alleged bottle was left in the van, according to testimony, to later take swigs from while in transit.

Under questioning by Deputy Attorney General Kathy Dickerson, the boy described the alleged layout, furniture and other contents inside Ms. Winters’ apartment. He claimed they smoked marijuana and drank alcohol before sexual intercourse.

On cross examination by defense attorney John Malik, the adolescent acknowledged he had access to Ms. Winters’ Instagram account that had photos of her home’s interior.

The juvenile arrived at Crossroads in mid-April 2015 due to a court mandate. He had previously been judged delinquent in Family Court on a second-degree burglary charge.

The alleged affair began after the boy and Ms. Winters shared a kiss in her office, he testified, and she supposedly commented that his breath stank.

The alleged smooch followed text messages that he believed became increasingly flirtatious with mutual kissy face emojis and hearts, and seemed more from a friend than counselor, according to testimony.

In the early stages, according to the minor, Ms. Winters allegedly “said if I wanted to keep this going I’d better have all these messages deleted when I come back to Crossroads.” He testified to very strong feelings he developed for his counselor.

The first alleged sexual intercourse happened in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Cheswold, the youth claimed, after Ms. Winters pulled the van with tinted windows into a spot near the road. He said he wasn’t “100 percent” sure at first why she parked, thinking it might be to go inside the store, but “I kinda had an idea.”

Then, according to the minor, they smiled at each other and moved to the van’s third row before allegedly having sex.

Drug test results

The boy alleged that he lied to his mother about a hickie on his neck, claiming a female Crossroads client caused it.

The youth also alleged that he watched his former counselor check chart results of others, switch his marijuana positive urine test result with a client’s clean test by loosening tape on a cap, pouring it out and adding someone else’s urine. The teen said staff had a dipper that could indicate results before they were sent to a laboratory.

According to the boy, Ms. Winters told him she had reported rising marijuana levels at Crossroads to his probation officers. He was concerned about possibly moving to a residential treatment facility.

The teen said that his previous stay at Psychiatric Services Incorporated was more regimented, and his marijuana level continued to rise due to smoking with friends. That brought the move to Crossroads, which he said he did not want to make.

Mr. Malik questioned how a pungent marijuana odor could be hidden after Ms. Winters and the youth allegedly smoked in the van before picking up other clients during a 15-to-20 minute ride from his home to Dover. The youth testified that they rolled down windows; she had perfume and cigarettes to mask the smell.

Two other counselors — including Ms. Winters’ husband Calvin Adams — never questioned the teen about any marijuana odor, he testified, and neither did a front desk receptionist. Alcohol use was never suspected either, the minor maintained.

While marijuana and a vodka bottle were stored in the van’s center console and front mirror that all staff had access to, the youth said only Ms. Winters drove it except for once when a client took it out.

In an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center, the teen testified to saying that as a teenager, having sex with an older woman is “something to brag about.”

The youth said he believed Ms. Winters did not have to take drug tests because her mother was Crossroads’ executive director Alberta Crowley.

The teen confirmed his family’s civil lawsuit seeking monetary compensation against Ms. Winters and Crossroads, and said he spoke with a lawyer about the matter. He said he knew little about the action and had not spoken with his mother about it.

During morning testimony, Judge Clark ordered Ms. Crowley out of the courtroom because she was listed as a potential witness. Crossroads is now closed.

The trial is scheduled to resume today at 9 a.m.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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