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Child care worker faces sex crimes charges; supervisor arrested for failing to report

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Rosa Emma Honeycutt (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office) After Pickel's arrest, detectives found that a supervisor at the home, Rosa Emma Honeycutt knew about the abuse, but failed to report it to authorities. Rosa Emma Honeycutt (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office) After Pickel's arrest, detectives found that a supervisor at the home, Rosa Emma Honeycutt knew about the abuse, but failed to report it to authorities.
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BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) -

UPDATE:

One day after information was released about the arrest of a former child care worker charged with sex crimes against children, another person has been arrested in connection to the same case.

The supervisor of Tri-State Children's Home is now charged-- investigators said she knew about the abuse, but didn't report it.

That woman: Rosa Honeycutt. She's charged with failure to report child sexual abuse. If found guilty, Honeycutt could face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The investigation started several months ago at Tri-State Children's Home in Bristol, Tennessee, which houses about 20 children. Investigators said the home is still open tonight, but the Department of Children's Services is involved.

"A report will be made by the district attorney's office to the appropriate licensing agency and at that point it will be up to them as whether or not they renew a license or revoke it," said Ast. District Attorney Julie Canter.

When we asked if more arrests would be made Canter said "the investigation is ongoing."

Wednesday we told you about the arrest the first worker: Sonya Pickle.

She faces several charges which include: statutory rape by an authority figure, aggravated statutory rape, facilitation of rape of a child and violation of duty to report child sex abuse.

Pickel's next court date is in November.

 

 


 

A former Tri-Cities child care worker remains behind bars. She's charged with sex crimes against children.

News Channel 11 confirmed that 26-year-old Sonya Pickel worked for Tri-State Children's home in Bristol, Tennessee.

The facility is affiliated with Brookside Baptist church and helps care for children age 5 to 18.

According to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office a detective learned that Pickel had allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. Investigators say Pickel allowed another 15-year-old boy to engage in sex acts with an 11-year-old girl. It was also determined that she also supplied some of the children with alcohol. 

Pickel faces several charges, which include: statutory rape by an authority figure, aggravated statutory rape, facilitation of rape of a child, violation of duty to report child sex abuse and furnishing alcohol to minors.

She's being held on a $100,000 bond. 

Mike Nixon, the director of Tri-State Children's home, says it was concealed from the entire staff.

"As far as the home goes and what we're trying to do, our goal is to protect the kids and their well being and we don't condone anything like this," said Nixon, "we were all shocked that this could happen."

Nixon says he still remembers the night he found out back in May.

"I found out about 1 o'clock during the night by 7:30 in the morning we were making phone calls," said Nixon

Nixon and other staff members found suspicious texts on Pickel's phone. He fired her almost immediately.

"At first she just denied everything when I spoke to her about it and that was about it at the time. She just denied it and I guess tried to cover it up," said Nixon.

But Nixon doesn't want one person to taint a good place.

"We're very sorry that anything like this happened and we'll do everything we can to prevent it from happening again," said Nixon.

Proof of that, Nixon says changes are being made.

"We're trying to implement things in the home to try to prevent this from ever happening again," said Nixon, "I want the truth to get out. I don't want one bad thing to ruin the good work that God has done."

After Pickel's arrest, detectives found that a supervisor at the home, Rosa Emma Honeycutt knew about the abuse, but failed to report it to authorities.  

Honeycutt was indicted by a Grand Jury this week on charges of violation of duty to report child sex abuse. She was arrested Thursday afternoon and transported to the Sullivan County Correctional Facility where she was later released on a $2500 bond. 

The Tri-State Children's Home in Bristol, Tennessee has been in operation since 1960 and has had 1,500 children come through its doors as well as other centers around the world.

Mike Nixon tells us the children involved in the case are now in DCS's hands.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

 

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