Topeka therapist charged with having sex with child in state care

By: - July 24, 2020 5:16 pm
Julie Herron was booked into jail Wednesday on charges of unlawful sexual relations with a patient in state custody who was younger than 16. (Shawnee County Jail)

Julie Herron was booked into jail Wednesday on charges of unlawful sexual relations with a patient in state custody who was younger than 16. (Shawnee County Jail)

Editor’s note: A Shawnee County jury has determined Julie Herron is not guilty.

TOPEKA — A Topeka mental health professional faces charges of having sexual relations with a patient in state care who was older than 16.

Julie Herron, 51, is accused of engaging in intercourse, lewd fondling or sodomy with the child between February and July of 2015. She was booked into jail on Wednesday and released on $10,000 bond.

The specific charge, which was filed July 13, is for individuals who work as an employee or contractor for the Kansas Department for Children and Families and use their authority to take advantage of patients in state custody. The sentencing range if convicted would be 31 to 136 months.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said Herron was employed as a DCF contractor at the time of the alleged crime. DCF spokesman Mike Deines said Herron worked at Florence Crittenton, which provides behavioral health services, in Topeka. Herron is a licensed behavioral care counselor.

“I do not have any information related to the investigation or victim,” Deines said. “The agency was not involved in any investigation.”

Florence Crittenton referred inquiries to an attorney, who didn’t return a phone call. Herron’s attorney didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.

Court records show Herron filed for divorce from her husband in August 2015.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the charge.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the 2021 and 2022 Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He is a lifelong Kansan.

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