CHARLESTON, W.Va. - An Elkview man accused of sexually abusing a teen girl in his home works for the Kanawha Board of Education's transportation division.
Johnie F. Winnell, 59, of Gypsum Lane was arrested and charged Friday with three counts of sexual abuse by a guardian after a teen girl in his care told Kanawha sheriff's deputies he touched her inappropriately. Investigators believe the abuse took place over a period of several years.
Winnell is currently listed as a computer operator for the school system's transportation office.
When asked about Winnell's employment and work history, George Beckett, the school system's transportation director, said it was a personnel matter and he could not discuss it.
Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department confirmed Wednesday that Winnell worked on digital mapping for bus drivers. To Humphreys' knowledge, Winnell had no contact with children through his job.
Winnell also was listed as a pastor at United Gospel Mission on Charleston's West Side. A reporter attempted to call the church Tuesday but found the phone number for the church was disconnected.
The victim, a 14-year-old girl, told a forensic interviewer that she had been sexually abused by Winnell, claiming that he touched her in a sexual manner at least twice, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Magistrate Court.
Detective M.P. Knapp spoke to Winnell at the sheriff's department Friday evening. Winnell told the detective the girl had been staying with him and his wife at their home. He said he touched the girl three times.
Winnell said he touched her once under her clothes while she was lying on the couch with him. He said he thought she was sleeping. In another incident, where he also thought she was sleeping, he took her hand and "swiped it across his crotch" over his clothes.
The third time, he said, she was in the bed with him and his wife. He touched her then over her clothes.
Winnell remains at South Central Regional Jail on $20,000 bond.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.
Other Cops and Courts Headlines