Former counselor on trial for alleged sex abuse against patient

Former counselor on trial for alleged sex abuse against patient

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Accused of betraying the trust of a patient and charged* with second degree sex abuse, a former counselor at a home for children took the stand in his own defense in a Morgan County courtroom Thursday.

Jonathan Minnon's accuser is an adult. She claims he touched her inappropriately during a counseling session. On the stand, Minnon told jurors it was she who was sexually aggressive towards him, and that he told her to stop.

Minnon was a counselor at the Alabama Baptist Children's Home in Decatur, when the alleged sex abuse happened in November of 2012. The woman testified that he made sexual remarks during previous sessions before touching her.

Minnon counterclaimed from the stand that she cornered him in his small office, pulled her shirt up, and put his hands on her body.
The alleged victim made a secret audio recording during a session. On the recording, Minnon said two o'clock is business time, five o'clock is playtime. He testified he meant that was when the children who live at the home have playtime.

With the misdemeanor charge, this had been a municipal court case.  Minnon requested to have it moved to Morgan County court so a jury, instead of a single judge, would decide the verdict.

In this kind of a case, that's important. He wanted the  citizens of Morgan County to decide his fate. He's innocent. He's wrongly accused," said Robert Tuten, Minnon's defense attorney.

Both sides rested Thursday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning. If convicted, Minnon faces up to a year in the city jail. Minnon is married and has three children. He was married when the alleged incident happened.

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