SACRAMENTO—Police arrested a choir director on Tuesday, February 7, 2015 accused of sexually assaulting a teenager at New Testament Baptist Church in North Highlands.
In September, police received a report alleging a sexual relationship between a teenage boy and Kareem Abdul Mitchell, 42, spanning three years from 2005 to 2008. The alleged victim, who is now an adult, told police that he met Mitchell when the suspect was working at the church on 34th Street off Watt Avenue.
On Tuesday, police obtained a warrant for Mitchell’s arrest. He was taken into custody at police headquarters, on multiple charges of sodomy, oral copulation and other sexual acts, police said. He remained there Wednesday in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Mitchell had been investigated for similar allegations in the past while working as a choir director, but charges were never filed, detectives said.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to have this kind of thing happen, if it’s true,” said Donnie Bryant, the senior pastor at the church. “But then on the other side of the coin, I can’t imagine the pain that Kareem might be feeling if this is not true.”
Bryant said Mitchell has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
According to state law, a person can be prosecuted for sexually abusing a minor up to eight years beyond the victim’s 18th birthday or three years after the victim realizes that physical or psychological injury has resulted from childhood sexual abuse, regardless of the victim’s age.
The Sacramento Police Department said anyone who believes they, too, may have been victimized should contact police. Anyone with information pertaining to these incidents was also encouraged to contact police at (916) 264-5471 or by sending a text to 274637 with the word SACTIP followed by the information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.