JOPLIN, Mo. – A woman who briefly supervised teens at a southwest Missouri drug and alcohol treatment center is charged with statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old boy at the center.
Police say they're investigating similar allegations concerning Jana Carter, 45, and three other teens who lived at the male-only dormitory at Scott Greening Dependency Center in Joplin. Two of the boys are 16 and the third is 14. No charges had been filed in those allegations as of Friday.
A probable cause statement filed in Jasper County Circuit Court alleges that Carter had consensual sexual contact with the 16-year-old at least twice last month at the center. Their alleged encounters occurred while Carter, a residential supervisor at the time, was working her shift.
Joplin police spokesman Cpl. Chuck Niess told The Associated Press on Friday that Carter is now in custody. Niess said she turned herself in Thursday in McDonald County, south of Jasper County, and was to be transferred to a jail in Jasper County.
Larry Black, director of the Scott Greening Dependency Center, was out of the office Friday and could not be reached by the AP. But he told The Joplin Globe that Carter was hired about a month before the alleged incidents happened. According to court records, she had sexual contact with the 16-year-old from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19.
Black said Carter no longer works at the center. He said nothing came up when the center screened Carter like it does all employees it hires.
"She came in very clean in terms of references and background checks," Black said.
The center is privately owned and specializes in drug and alcohol abuse treatment for teens. It is run with both state and private funding, taking private clients and ones referred by area school districts and the Missouri Department of Juvenile Services.
Besides the all-male residential facility, the center also has a central office in Joplin and a separate dormitory for females.
The center that houses the males generally has 14 to 16 teens who sleep two to a room.
Black said the residence has no video surveillance. He said an employee told him about the allegations against Carter, and the center started investigating on Oct. 24.