Police: Ohio firefighter confessed to sexually assaulting teens in department’s cadet program

Jonathan Monroe, 23

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, OH (WDTN/AP) — Authorities say an Ohio firefighter confessed to sexually assaulting four teenagers in his department’s cadet program, sometimes in paid sexual encounters, while he was an instructor.

Jonathan Monroe, 23, is charged in Clark County with crimes including rape and compelling prostitution. He pleaded not guilty in court Friday. A message seeking comment was left for his attorney.

Monroe told police during an initial interview on April 5th, that he had access to children through his role as a cadet instructor with the fire department.

Police say Monroe cried while admitting to sexually abusing the children.

Monroe said he was 15 or 16 when he began sexually abusing a 9-year-old boy. During a subsequent interview with the victim, the victim said he was actually 11 when the abuse began. Monroe said the abuse happened over a period of six years, ending in March of this year. He could not say how many times the abuse happened. Monroe also said he offered to pay the victim $40 dollars to perform a sex act but did not pay the victim.

Monroe said he had sexual contact with his second victim one time, at some point in 2016. The victim confirmed Monroe’s claim.

Monroe said his third victim was 15 when sexual contact began, and that he had sexual contact with the victim at least 10 times, with the last incident happening 3-4 weeks ago. The victim confirmed Monroe’s claim but said he was 16 and not 15 when Monroe began abusing him.

Monroe said his fourth victim was 15 when sexual contact began, with the last incident happening 2 1/2 weeks ago. He said he paid the victim for sex acts on multiple occasions. The victim confirmed Monroe’s claim.

All four victims confirmed Monroe was their training instructor and cadet advisor while they were enrolled with the cadet program and Springfield Township Fire Department.

Monroe faces the following charges related to each victim:

  • Victim #1 – Rape, Gross Sexual Imposition, Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Sexual Battery
  • Victim #2 – Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Sexual Batter
  • Victim #3 – Sexual Battery
  • Victim #4 – Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Compelling Prostitution

Trustees in Springfield Township, about 50 miles west of Columbus, tell The Springfield News-Sun that Monroe resigned as a volunteer firefighter. They didn’t comment further.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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