Great Circle employee charged for having sexual contact with a student

Tamika Rodriguez mug. Courtesy: Phelps County Sheriff's Office
Tamika Rodriguez mug. Courtesy: Phelps County Sheriff's Office(KY3)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:33 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 8:20 AM CST
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PHELPS COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - A St. Robert, Mo. woman has been charged in Phelps County for sexually touching a Great Circle student.

According to the Phelps County Sheriff’s Office, 36-year-old Tamika Marie Rodriguez surrendered to authorities on December 4 on a warrant charging her with one count of sexual contact with a student. Great Circle is a behavioral center for children.

Court records say the incident with the victim happened towards the end of September. In mid-October, a detective with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Office went to investigate the alleged sexual assault that occurred at a Great Circle location in St. James.

The detective talked with the victim and the victim stated that Rodriguez, an employee at Great Circle, had sexual contact with the victim. Court documents say Rodriguez forced a hug upon the victim while inserting her hand into the victim’s pants and “grabbed” the genital area of the victim.

The victim told the investigator this incident happened in the doorway of a room located in a cottage on the Great Circle campus.

Rodriguez was released after posting a $25,000 bond.

Great Circle released this statement to KY3 News:

Great Circle’s top priority is always the health and safety of the children and families we serve. Upon learning of the allegation, we addressed the physical and emotional needs of our client and notified all appropriate authorities. Great Circle cooperated fully, and we continue to cooperate in this matter. The employee has been terminated.

Every employee at Great Circle commits to keeping the children we serve safe. We have well-defined policies concerning the treatment of our clients. If we become aware of allegations that these policies have not been followed, our standard practice is to take swift disciplinary action, which can include termination.

While we cannot comment further on the investigation into this former employee’s alleged actions, we greatly appreciate the work done by Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and prosecutors in this situation. We recognize their efforts to ensure the safety of all the children we serve.

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