Ricardo D. Minor, 40, of Cahokia, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to enticement of a minor, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and attempting to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding.
All three crimes arose from an illegal relationship the defendant developed with an underage patient he met while working as a behavioral health specialist at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville, Illinois. Court records establish that between June 14, 2017, and Sept. 3, 2017, Minor used a cell phone and the internet to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce the underage victim (identified as M.F.) to engage in criminal sexual activity that violated Illinois state law.
The sexual acts occurred in Collinsville – near M.F.’s residence and at her friend’s house – and at the defendant’s residence in Cahokia. Minor also worked as an Uber driver and would often travel from Illinois to Missouri. The defendant sometimes asked M.F. to accompany him on these trips and had sex with her there, in violation of Missouri state law.
In late August 2017, staff members at the hospital learned of Minor’s sexual relationship with the victim from another patient (identified as T.Y.). The following day, Minor sent M.F. a series of text messages instructing her to try to convince T.Y. to retract her statement. Four days later, Minor instructed M.F. to tell one of his co-workers and other hospital staff that she had not been engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with the defendant, when in fact she had.
As part of his guilty plea, Minor also admitted that on Nov. 27, 2017, while housed in the St. Louis County Justice Center on a second degree statutory rape charge relating to his unlawful sexual activity with M.F. in Missouri, he made a series of phone calls to another person (identified as T.J.) and instructed T.J. to lean on the victim’s family not to pursue criminal charges against him. T.J. did, in fact, contact the victim’s family members and told them that if they pressed charges things would “get ugly.”
Minor’s sentencing date has not yet been set. He faces 10 years to life on counts one and two (enticement of a minor and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity), and not more than 20 years on count three (attempting to obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding). All three counts also carry a fine of up to $250,000. 2 This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” The case was investigated by the Collinsville Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott is prosecuting the case.