DCF Investigator Charged With Sexual Battery
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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A state Department of Children and Families investigator has been charged with two counts of sexual battery, police said Thursday.
Twenty-seven-year-old Jason Conrad Montgomery visited the home of a child he was assigned to on Sept. 5, according to the Lakeland Police Department.
While at the residence, he allegedly asked the children in the house to leave and told their mother she “needed” to have sex with him.
The woman initially resisted, but Montgomery allegedly told her, “Well then I am going to be forced to do what I have to do.”
Police said the victim felt helpless due to Montgomery’s position with DCF and that he proceeded to sexually batter her.
A few weeks later, police said Montgomery called the victim and urged her to return home so that he could speak with her in reference to information he had received from police. When the woman arrived home, Montgomery reportedly told her, “You owe me for getting you out of trouble.”
Montgomery then sexually battered the woman again, police said.
Lakeland police interviewed Montgomery and said he denied having any sexual or personal interaction with the victim. However, DNA evidence found at the victim’s residence matched Montgomery’s DNA profile, investigators said.
Police said the victim was still fearful of Montgomery when she spoke with police.
“The victim was visibly upset and repeatedly stated that she was still afraid that the defendant was going to take her children from her,” the affidavit states.
Carrie Hoeppner, a DCF spokeswoman, said Montgomery was the subject of an unrelated internal investigation and removed from client contact in September. He was kept on administrative duties and offered DCF his resignation and two weeks’ notice last week.
Hoeppner said Montgomery’s resignation was made effective immediately after his arrest on Thursday.
William Rhinaman is charged with evidence tampering, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury. The 53-year-old Mingo Junction man has pleaded not guilty.
Hannah Rhinaman faces theft and receiving stolen property charges. She has pleaded not guilty.
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