A 39-year-old St. Paul woman who directed a chemical treatment program for the Salvation Army in Minneapolis goes on trial Monday in Hennepin County District Court on charges that she repeatedly had sex with a client who is a convicted sex offender.
Amy Andrea Horsfield, who is no longer employed by the Salvation Army, was also involved in intimate relationships with two other men who were under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, according to allegations contained in court documents.
Horsfield is charged with two gross misdemeanors — criminal sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult and criminal neglect, each of which carries up to one year behind bars and/or a $3,000 fine.
Horsfield exhibited “a pattern of sexual impropriety, abuse and manipulation against convicted felons,” wrote Minneapolis Assistant City Attorney Lisa Godon.
Horsfield was “grooming” another felon, pretending to help him so that she could “explore the darker side of her sexuality,” the document said. She also allegedly had sexual relations with that felon’s brother.
“On behalf of my client we deny all these allegations,” said Horsfield’s attorney, Robert Paule, but he offered no details.
In pretrial documents Paule wrote that he may introduce exhibits showing the criminal convictions of Anthony Michael Bishop, 43, the man with whom she had the sexual liaison that led to the charges.
Those include first-degree burglary, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, theft and twice failing to register as a predatory offender. Bishop is a Level 3 sex offender, considered the most likely to reoffend, but has not been charged with another sex offense since 1990.
According to a revised criminal complaint filed last month, Minneapolis police Sgt. Bernard Martinson learned that from about November 2010 to April 2011, Horsfield engaged in a sexual relationship with Bishop that started a few months after he moved into the Beacon chemical dependency program at the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center on Currie Avenue.
Horsfield, the program coordinator, began by texting him, using sexually charged language, the complaint said, and they had sex six times in Horsfield’s vehicle. They also had sex in the Beacon Program housing area, at a room Horsfield rented at a Ramada Inn in northeast Minneapolis and at the Midway Motel in St. Paul, the complaint says. Between Oct. 13, 2011, and Oct. 17, 2012, Bishop attempted to contact her 494 times; 16 calls to her cellphone were completed.
The complaint briefly describes the contents of several calls in 2012, but does not say how the police knew of the calls. In a call on Jan. 15, 2012, Bishop allegedly said he cared about her, and she said she cared about him. In a call made on March 10, 2012, she began by saying, “Let me explain something before I say anything.” The police complaint said that she told Bishop she was in trouble and told him their phone calls might be reported.
Although the sex was consensual, “it was not therapeutic and it contributed to [Bishop’s] relapse from sobriety” and recovery from substance abuse, the complaint says.
It says that Bishop told Martinson he had received personal letters and a pair of panties from her during the relationship. A DNA test performed on the panties by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that she could “not be excluded from being a possible contributor,” but “96.8 percent of the general population could be excluded from being contributors.”
Sarah Latuseck, a spokeswoman for the state corrections department, said Bishop was originally incarcerated in 1991 for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He was released several times, but returned to prison, apparently for violating conditions of release. On May 16, he was sent to the Lino Lakes correctional facility for failing to comply with predator offender regulations. On Wednesday, he was moved to Stillwater prison.
Horsfield’s attorney has attempted to block submission of allegations that Horsfield had intimate relations with two other men, saying they are only suspicions, according to court documents. It is not clear how much of that information Hennepin County District Judge Mark Wernick will allow to be presented at the trial.
Annette Bauer, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army, said Friday that “because of employee privacy, I cannot discuss whether Horsfield resigned or was let go, but she has not been employed by the Salvation Army since the fall of 2012.”
She said: “We have rules about client relations, that you can’t have a personal relationship with a client.”