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Second arrest made in investigation of children's home

October 10th, 2013 1:56 pm by Rain Smith

Second arrest made in investigation of children's home

Rosa Ema Honeycutt, 70

Warrants were served on the supervisor of a Sullivan County children's center on Thursday, marking the second arrest in an investigation of alleged sex and alcohol at the facility.

Rosa Ema Honeycutt, 70, of Larkins Street in Bristol, Tenn., was indicted Tuesday by a Sullivan County grand jury.  The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says Honeycutt is charged with violation of duty to report child sex abuse, as she allegedly knew about inappropriate actions, but failed to alert authorities.

In May an investigation was launched into incidents at Tri-State Children's Home, 1792 Vance Tank Road. SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says it was spurred when a family member of an employee brought allegations to police.

That employee, Sonya Pickel, 26, of Oakland Drive, Bristol, Tenn., was indicted in July on multiple charges. She remains held in the Sullivan County jail  on $100,000 bond.

Returned indictments state that in April of this year Pickel facilitated the sexual penetration of an 11-year-old girl by a 15-year-old boy. She allegedly provided alcohol to the teenage male, along with three additional juveniles.

Court records say Pickel also engaged in sexual relations with a juvenile she had, "supervisory or disciplinary power over."

Pickel is charged with one count of facilitation of rape of a child, two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, two counts of aggravated statutory rape and one count of failure to report child sex abuse.

Pickel also faces six counts of contributing to the delinquency or unruly behavior of a minor, and five counts of furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors.

A website for Charity Baptist Mission, Inc., a subsidiary of Brookside Baptist Church, states that it operates Tri-State Children's Home. The website says the facility it's funded solely on donations, with no state or federal funding.

Police report their investigation is continuing.

Previous story:  Suspect in sex crimes against children worked at Tri-State Baptist Children's Home

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