Detention Worker Faces Charges

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL BISHOP The Register-Guard

A Eugene man who worked with thousands of delinquent Lane County youths while they were locked in detention was charged Friday with sexually abusing four girls in custody over a three-year period that ended last June when police began an investigation.

Mikal Allan Krummel, 51, pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse - a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory six-year, three-month prison term - and four counts of third-degree sexual abuse. Krummel remains free on special conditions pending trial, including that he has no contact with anyone under age 18 and checks in with authorities in person twice a week.

The girls, ages 13 to 15 at the time, told police that Krummel touched them in a sexual manner while they were held in detention, Eugene police Detective Dan Braziel said.

The alleged incidents happened in both the old Skipworth detention hall and in the county's new Juvenile Justice Center on Centennial Boulevard. The investigation found no illegal contact between Krummel and girls outside of the detention setting, Braziel said.

Defense lawyer Greg Veralrud of Eugene said Krummel "is very disappointed charges were filed." Veralrud said some of the contact happened during basketball games involving detention staff and detainees.

Krummel will be under intense pressure in deciding whether to seek a plea bargain or fight the charges in a trial because of the potential Measure 11 penalties and the risk of guessing how a jury will take testimony from teens with troubled backgrounds, Veralrud said.

In the meantime, there are volumes of police reports to review, he said.

"We are very much in the early stage," Veralrud said. No matter the outcome, Krummel's professional career is ruined, he said.

Officials at the county Youth Services Department investigated a report of Krummel acting inappropriately toward girls in September 2000, but did not find proof of criminal conduct, department spokeswoman Lynne Schroeder said.

Krummel received a written reprimand and was put on a strict work plan, she said.

Last June, detention officials found written material in the room of another girl in detention that indicated other possible mis- conduct, Braziel said. Another internal investigation by a youth services investigator found evidence of wrongdoing that happened before September 2000.

Youth services officials gave the new information to police and placed Krummel on administrative leave in June, Schroeder said. He resigned at the end of August.

Neither Schroeder nor Braziel would discuss details of the conduct.

"There were varying degrees of alleged sexual contact," Braziel said. …