Rachele Johnson, a 26-year-old counselor at the House of Commons — a state-run substance abuse treatment center in Michigan — has been sentenced to five years probation, avoiding prison time.
According to reports, while working as a counselor at the House of Commons, Johnson had sex with two men who were living at the court-mandated drug treatment center.
While the two men said they were not Johnson’s victims, Ingham County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Lisa McCormick said that Johnson’s employment as a Community Mental Health Authority legally means that these men would not have been able to consent to sex.
Johnson — who was sentenced to five years of probation on Tuesday, September 25 — pled guilty to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, furnishing a cell phone to a prisoner, and misconduct in office. Six charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, harboring escapees and providing contraband in prison were dismissed by the judge.
Additionally, Johnson is required to attend therapy and register as a sex offender.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk said there was no evidence that Johnson used her authority status to coerce the men into sex. She also praised Johnson for taking the initiative to go to therapy to sort out her mental health.
However, Draganchuk said Johnson’s actions harm the overall treatment structure and makes those living there feel like it’s not a legitimate place. While working at the House of Commons, Johnson provided the men with cell phones and allowed them to leave to purchase alcohol, one of the men she assaulted testified at the preliminary hearing.
He described their relationship as “flirty,” and said he would go into the property room with Johnson, where there were no cameras. He testified that Johnson made up a phony doctors appointment so they could be together outside of the house.
House of Commons, located in Mason, Michigan, was formed initially formed in 1964 as a federally funded community mental health center. During the 1970s, CMH (Community Mental Health Board of Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Counties) also added substance abuse services to the range of services offered.