The Wood County Community Corrections Day Report Center in Parkersburg is where Nikki Faye Secoy alleges a former counselor David Jeffrey forced her to have sex with him. (Photo by Lawrence Smith)
PARKERSBURG - The Wood County Commission is named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit filed by a Parkersburg woman alleging she was coerced into having sex with her counselor at an alternative sentencing program the Commission operates.
Nikki Faye Secoy filed suit on March 8 against the Commission, and David Jeffrey, a former counselor at the Wood County Community Corrections Day Report Center. In her complaint filed in Wood Circuit Court, Secoy, 27, alleges Jeffery took advantage of her while she was participating in the Center's drug court program.
Secoy's suit also names a John or Jane Doe employee, and the Center's director, Jeff Williams, as co-defendants.
Started in 2004, the Center provides alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders in Wood, Jackson and Roane counties. The Center is partially funded from fees paid by offenders who then participate in substance abuse, anger management or G.E.D. programs.
In her suit, Secoy alleges Jeffrey was employed by the Center as a counselor/psychologist. While she participated in the Center's programs, Secoy alleges Jeffrey forced her to have "inappropriate and illegal sexual relations" with him.
The suit does not specific the nature of the acts or when they took place.
Also, Secoy alleges that the Center hired Jeffrey as a psychologist despite having no formal training as one. Despite reporting Jeffrey's actions to unnamed Center employees, Secoy alleges no immediate action was taken against him.
However, Secoy maintains that Jeffrey was eventually terminated "for this inappropriate sexual conduct." No date is given for his termination.
According to the Wood County Clerk's Office, Jeffrey was employed by the Center from Nov. 1, 2006 until Jan. 15. His job title was counselor, and his salary was $41,566.08.
According to court records, Secoy was going to the Center as part of the drug court program. Following a motion by her attorney, Carl F. Bryant, Wood Circuit Judge Jeffrey B. Reed admitted Secoy into the program on Sept. 5, 2008.
Reed previously sentenced Secoy to two consecutive 1-10 years in prison on one count each of forgery and uttering. Records show Secoy agreed to plead guilty to the two charges on Feb. 14, 2008, in exchange for the Wood County Prosecutor's Office dismissing the other eight charges on which she was indicted in June 2007.
The plea agreement gave Secoy credit for 78 days served. Following her successful completion to the program, Reed's order called for Secoy's sentence to be suspended.
Though her suit alleges she suffered mental and emotional distress as a result of Jeffrey's alleged misconduct, records are unclear was what impact, if any, that has had on Secoy completing the drug court program. Also, despite Secoy's allegations, records show nobody by the name of David Jeffrey has been recently arrested or indicted for any sexually related crimes.
In her suit, Secoy seeks unspecified damages, court costs, interest and attorney fees. She is represented by Paul M. Stroebel with the Charleston law firm of Stroebel and Johnson.
The case was originally assigned to Judge Robert A. Waters. However, Waters recused himself from the case citing his relationship to Wood County Commissioner David Blair Couch, who is the Commission's liaison to the Center.
The two are cousins.
The case is now assigned to Reed.
Wood Circuit Court, case number 10-C-92 (Secoy civil) and 07-F-171 (Secoy criminal)