Therapist sought, accused of sexually abusing boy with autism

Johns Creek police are searching for a behavioral therapist accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy with autism.
Johns Creek police are searching for a behavioral therapist accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy with autism.

Credit: Johns Creek Police Department

Credit: Johns Creek Police Department

Authorities are searching for a behavioral therapist accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy with autism.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 25-year-old Jerel McGary, who remained on the run Friday afternoon, Johns Creek police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The boy’s mother, who asked not to be identified, told Channel 2 Action News that McGary worked for Roswell-based Academy ABA and was assigned to help her son in a one-on-one role in their home. She was told McGary had years of experience and that he came highly recommended.

“My son has severe autism, and he’s very smart,” she said. “But his behaviors get in his way and this type of school works on his behaviors.”

After their first session together, however, the woman said her son didn’t want to work with McGary again and that he started acting out.

“He hated him. He was crying and didn’t want to go anywhere with him,” she said. “And I thought it was because it was such a hard workload.”

Last month, the teen confided in his parents that McGary had sexually abused him dozens of times, Johns Creek police said.

The mother reached out to the owner of Academy ABA, who reportedly told her not to call the police, authorities said. Instead, the owner suspended McGary from work and contacted the Division of Family and Children Services, Channel 2 reported. The owner denied telling the woman not to go to the cops but told Channel 2 that McGary no longer works for the company.

He also said McGary passed a background check before being hired.

“I’m fearful he’s going to hurt more people while he’s out there,” the teen’s mother said. “He needs to get caught and go to jail.”

Johns Creek police said McGary is wanted on charges of aggravated child molestation and aggravated sodomy.

“As of today, Mr. McGary has been unreachable and will not return any phone calls,” the agency said in a lookout that included the man’s photo.

Police are asking that anyone who knows McGary’s whereabouts or has information regarding similar cases that might involve the suspect to contact Johns Creek investigators at 678-674-1591 or email Detective D. Russell at drussell@johnscreekga.gov.

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