Counselor Charged With Sexual Assault On Client

Worked At Facility For Abused Kids

A counselor at a residential treatment center has been charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Matthew Crum, 31, worked at The Third Way Center for several years. Prior to hiring him, the administration said they did a complete background check – both through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crum had no criminal record.

“(Crum) worked for two state agencies in the past,” said David Eisner, executive director of Third Way Center. “(Crum) came with great references.”

The treatment facility center is touted as an alternative to homelessness and incarceration.

According to the arrest affidavit, Crum showed a client photos of a female performing a sexual act on him. It states he then asked her to perform the same act on him.

The founder of Third Way Center, Dr. Hildegard Messenbaugh, said as soon as the 16-year-old told them what happened, they called the state and police to report the incidents.

Messenbaugh said they take every step possible to safeguard their clients. “There are cameras everywhere,” said Messenbaugh.

In fact, cameras caught Crum uploading the sexually explicit photo to a Web site and then e-mailing it to the female client, said Messenbaugh.

The center has contacted past clients to discuss Crum. Messenbaugh said so far no clients report any inappropriate contact with the suspect.

Crum remains in the Denver County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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