AJ church youth leader arrested on suspicion of child molestation - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

AJ church youth leader arrested on suspicion of child molestation

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Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 6:01 pm | Updated: 1:55 pm, Wed Dec 21, 2011.

A youth leader at an Apache Junction church accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy at a church camp over the summer was arrested by Mesa police on suspicion of offenses connected to the alleged crimes on Wednesday.

Jasmine Brown, 29, a youth leader at Family of God Christian Fellowship, located at 476 S. Ironwood Drive, was arrested on suspicion of three counts of child molestation and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

Brown's arrest came a day after Mesa police were contacted by the victim's relatives, according to police. The boy told police that Brown had inappropriately touched him.

According to Mesa police, Brown acknowledged to investigators that he was a youth leader and confessed to the alleged crimes that had occurred during a church summer camp. While the victim and Brown do not live together, they both spent many nights together during this summer camp.

Brown also explained he has been employed since October as a full-time teacher's aide dealing with special needs children at Phoenix Collegiate Academy, a public charter school, according to Mesa police. Prior to working at Phoenix Collegiate Academy he told investigators he was employed at the Roosevelt School District.

Brown has been placed on paid administrative leave from his job as a paraprofessional at Phoenix Collegiate Academy pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Rachel Yanoff, director for Phoenix Collegiate Academy.

Yanoff told the Tribune that Brown has been employed at the school since October and had passed the criminal background check and fingerprinting clearances, which go back seven years.

Brown was employed in the Roosevelt district as a paraprofessional working with special needs children from Nov. 15, 2006 to Oct. 17, 2011, when he submitted a letter of resignation, according to Noelle Wilkinson, a secretary in the district office's human resources department.

Those hired in the district also are required to undergo criminal and fingerprinting background checks, which Brown would have undergone, according to Wilkinson.

Although Wilkinson said the district would not release a copy of Brown's resignation letter because it's considered private, she did say that Brown was listed as rehirable because he properly submitted his resignation.

Representatives at Family of God Christian Fellowship could not be reached for comment.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6533 or msakal@evtrib.com

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