Winters facing up to 45 years in prison

DOVER — A 30-year-old woman is facing up to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to raping a boy she counseled at a drug and alcohol treatment center multiple times in 2015.

Rebecca Q. Winters (also known as Adams), married to a Crossroads of Delaware co-worker when allegations surfaced, could also receive probation with no prison time when sentenced in Kent County Superior Court on Feb. 28, 2017.

In the third day of her trial, Winters admitted to three counts of fourth-degree rape, a Class C violent felony that can bring 15 years maximum for each charge. The sentences can be served consecutively.

Judge Jeffrey Clark ordered a pre-sentence investigation after the plea was accepted.

Winters entered the trial 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.

Rebecca Q. Winters, left, exits Kent County Courthouse with her mother Alberta Crowley. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

Dover Police began an investigation in August 2015 after the Division of Family Services received an anonymous tip from Crossroads of Delaware regarding a possible inappropriate relationship involving an underage patient and adult staff member.

According to Delaware sentencing guidelines, a guilty plea to a Class C violent felony with an “acceptance of responsibility” is recommended for up to 22 months in prison, though a judge is not required to follow that.

On Tuesday, the now 17-year-old victim testified to an alleged relationship with Winters that often included sexual intercourse and oral sex in a Crossroads van driven by the counselor. The minor claimed they had sex twice at Ms. Winter’s Dover apartment, at the Crossroads office in Milford, in Camden and Cheswold Wal-Mart parking lots, the Dover Mall after watching movies, and a Redner’s store in Camden.

Regular marijuana use and alcohol consumption were part of the relationship, according to the teenager from the witness stand. The minor testified that Winters allegedly tampered with his urine-based drug tests to indicate negative tests for marijuana in his system.

The minor was court-ordered to receive counseling at Crossroads, which has since closed its business. He was taking part in an Intensive Outpatient Program which allowed recreational outings after day-long counseling at the treatment center.

The youth was previously counseled at Psychiatric Services Incorporated for a few hours weekly, but a rising level marijuana use resulted in a Family Court order to move to a day-long program at Crossroads of Delaware in April 2015.

The boy had originally been judged delinquent in Family Court on a burglary charge, prompting his arrival at PSI.

The crime defined

According to Delaware Code, a person is guilty of fourth-degree rape when he or she:

(1) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached that victim’s sixteenth birthday; or

(2) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached that victim’s eighteenth birthday, and the person is 30 years of age or older, except that such intercourse shall not be unlawful if the victim and person are married at the time of such intercourse; or

(3) Intentionally engages in sexual penetration with another person under any of the following circumstances:

a. The sexual penetration occurs without the victim’s consent; or

b. The victim has not reached that victim’s sixteenth birthday.

At trial, the youth testified that Winters advised that if caught, he should admit to a timeline when he was at least 16 years old and she had not turned 30.

In October, Judge Clark ordered a mistrial in the midst of a Dover Police detective’s testimony he believed unfairly prejudiced the proceedings.

Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson prosecuted the case, with attorney John Malik representing Winters.

Soon after Winters was arrested, the minor’s family filed a civil lawsuit against her and Crossroads of Delaware. That action is still pending.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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