Former counselor at a Meridian clinic sexually abused two minors. He’s headed to prison

·2 min read
Zolnierek/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A counselor at a Meridian mental health clinic was sentenced to at least 13 years in prison Tuesday on four felonies related to sexually abusing children.

A jury on Jan. 13 found Jamus Edward McCullough, 47, guilty of three counts of child sexual abuse of two minors under 16 years old and one count of intimidating, influencing, impeding or deterring a witness from testifying in a criminal or juvenile matter.

Ada County District Judge Cynthia Yee-Wallace sentenced McCullough on Tuesday, giving him eight years fixed and 17 years indeterminate to cover two counts of abuse, and 25 years indeterminate on the third count of abuse. The judge sentenced McCullough to five years fixed on the intimidation crime. The latter two sentences will run consecutively to the first two, meaning he’ll serve at least 13 years before being eligible for parole.

Behavior requirements handed out at sentencing included no contact with the victims and all minor children, sexual offender treatment, development of a sexual history using a polygraph, engagement in medication management, and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Yee-Wallace told McCullough that she was “concerned and frankly disturbed by this case.” Neither she nor a psychological evaluator found him “amenable to rehabilitation,” partly because McCullough maintained his innocence at the sentencing hearing.

“I think it’s a tragedy that you have put (your victims) in a position of making them feel like there’s something wrong with everybody else, and that everybody else is lying, and you’re the only one that comes to this process with clean hands,” Yee-Wallace told him at the hearing. “I just don’t believe that.”

On July 21, Boise police received a report of possible sexual abuse involving McCullough and a female minor he knew, at an unidentified Boise location, spokesperson Haley Williams told the Idaho Statesman by email. The Boise Police Department’s Special Victims Unit took over the investigation, and charges involving a second victim were added.

Detectives said they also found evidence that McCullough made statements to one of the victims to deter her from speaking about the abuse, Williams said.

McCullough, who lived in Boise, was a licensed professional counselor at Advanced Clinical Trauma Services in Meridian, according to online records from the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses. A document obtained by the Statesman confirmed his employment there.