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Metro East health care worker sentenced to 15 years in prison for enticement of minor patient

He was a behavioral health specialist at Touchette Regional Hospital
Credit: Thinkstock

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A 40-year-old Cahokia man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to several charges involving a girl who was one of his patients.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, Ricardo D. Minor was sentenced Wednesday, five months after pleading 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.

“This case is so egregious because the defendant preyed on a vulnerable victim who he knew was receiving behavioral health treatment,” U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft said in a press release.

The crimes happened during an illegal relationship Minor had with a girl he met while he was working as a behavioral health specialist at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville, Illinois.

According to court records, between June 14, 2017, and Sept. 3, 2017, Minor used a cellphone and the internet to persuade, induce, entice and coerce the underage victim to engage in criminal sexual activity that violated Illinois state law.

The sexual acts occurred at her friend's house in Collinsville and at her house in Cahokia. Minor also worked as an Uber driver and would often travel from Illinois to Missouri. 

Court documents said Minor also sometimes asked the victim to come with him on Uber trips and had sex with her there.

In late August 2017, staff members at the hospital learned of Minor’s sexual relationship with the victim from another patient. Minor then sent the victim a series of text messages to try and get her to retract her statement. Four days later, Minor told her to tell one of his coworkers and other staff that she had not been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with him.

As part of his guilty plea, he admitted that on Nov. 27, 2017, while he was in the St. Louis County Justice Center, he made a series of phone calls to another person and instructed that person to lean on the victim’s family to not pursue criminal charges against him. That person contacted the victim’s family and told them that if they pressed charges, things would “get ugly.”

In addition to being sentenced to 180 months in federal prison, he will also serve 10 years of supervised release.