News and Tribune

September 6, 2013

Child care worker formally charged in sex with teen case

Police: Sexual encounters occurred at Sellersburg children’s facility

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

SELLERSBURG — An employee of Sellersburg’s Kingsfield Children’s Home arrested Aug. 29 was charged this week for sexual interactions with a juvenile resident of the facility.

Darci Stabeno, 29, Pekin, faces three counts child seduction, all class D felonies. According to the charges, Stabeno had three sexual interactions with a 17-year-old resident of the facility.

Two of the charges are for sexual intercourse, and the third charge stems from “deviate sexual conduct with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the adult.”

According to the police report, during a forensic interview the juvenile said he sent Stabeno cellphone photos of his genitals, and he provided officials with photographs he said he had taken of the woman performing oral sex on him.

SPD Chief Russ Whelan has previously said the encounters are believed to have occurred at the facility while Stabeno was on duty. Whelan said Stabeno worked night hours at Kingsfield Children’s Home after the house parents and children went to bed.

Stabeno went to the Sellersburg Police Department last week after she was contacted by an investigator. An interview was conducted, at which time she gave an account of sexual conduct that mirrored statements previously made to police by the teen, Whelan said. Stabeno admitted to police of having sex with the child on two occasions in August.

Before investigators interviewed Stabeno, CPD had received a call from a director of Kingsfield Children’s Home of possible inappropriate contact between Stabeno and the child.

Since her arrest, Stabeno has bonded out of the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex, after a $1,500 payment was made.

As of Friday, Stabeno had not hired private counsel as she said she intended to do during a hearing Sept. 3. A status of counsel hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 16.