Mentor at Fort Bend County Juvenile Facility accused of indecency with child

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

RICHMOND, Texas - A mentor at the Fort Bend County Juvenile Facility was arrested Tuesday after accusations that she had sex with a juvenile there, deputies said.

Deborah Sutter, 64, of Rosenberg, was charged with second-degree indecency with a child after an investigation that began last Wednesday, according to Fort Bend County deputies.

Investigators said that Sutter, a volunteer mentor, had sexual contact with a juvenile she was advising several times and that surveillance cameras recorded the encounters.

"She doesn't fit the mold. I think that’s what makes this interesting, doesn't it?" said Ft. Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls.

Authorities say a staff member at the juvenile detention center had been looking at the video feed from a surveillance camera in the room during a visitation and noticed some inappropriate touching. 

"What really caught his attention was their seating arrangement. They have a certain seating arrangement that is prohibited. They are supposed to sit across from each other. They were side by side. She knew there was video in there. But the seating arrangement between her and the juvenile was kind of as concealed. She positioned herself in that room. She didn't think some of her actions would be seen," Detective Thomas Cantu said.  

Detectives investigated prior meetings between the pair and say they saw more inappropriate contact on a number of occasions. They interviewed the juvenile, arrested Sutter and they questioned her they say she confessed. 

“All she said was that she felt sorry for the child. he seemed to be doing better. He was getting into a leadership program with juvenile detention center," Cantu said. 

All of the 14 visits with the juveniles that Sutter has mentored during the three years she volunteered at the facility are also being reviewed, investigators said. Nine of those visits involved meetings with boys.  

Deputies said that Sutter underwent background and fingerprint checks annually to be part of the program that is administered by the Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department.

The Fort Bend Juvenile Probation Department released the following statement: 

"The Fort Bend Juvenile Probation Department has a zero tolerance policy on any form of abuse or inappropriate conduct. The safety and well being of our youth is our highest priority and one we do not take lightly. This inappropriate volunteer is no way a representative of our other valued community mentors. Be assured that misconduct by anyone towards our youth is taken seriously, investigated, and vigorously prosecuted."  - Kyle Dobbs, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer 

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