HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A sudden twist Monday in the case of a former Christian youth worker accused of child sex crimes.
In Henrico, the prosecutor decided not to prosecute the case against Kenneth Mullens, Jr. But that doesn't mean the charges are going away. Instead, the case is moving to Richmond, where Mullens will now face two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with two teenage boys.
Kenneth Mullens, Jr., showed no emotion and said nothing on his way out of Henrico juvenile court. Inside, an attorney had just revealed a decision not to prosecute five felonies against the 31-year-old.
But that was no cause for relief...because it was made clear today, for the first time, that Mullens will now face similar charges in Richmond.
So why drop the charges in Henrico? In court, the prosecutor said she did not want the two teenage boys involved to testify more than once. Additional reasons were not disclosed.
Steve Benjamin is NBC12's legal analyst.
"It's a very difficult thing for anyone, especially teenage boys, to publicly testify about sexual conduct of the sort that's been alleged here," Benjamin said.
Back in February, Mullens was accused by Virginia State Police of taking indecent liberties with a minor; the latest blow in what's been a tumultuous year for the Mechanicsville man.
Mullens, also was charged in a federal sex crime case which was ultimately dropped in January. In that case, Mullens was accused of driving a 17-year-old boy to Maryland for sex last year. But court papers stated the legal age of consent there is 16, and so a federal judge dismissed the charge.
If Mullens was relieved by that, or, today's development...he never showed it.
"You know what goes through a person's mind, is that their life is ruined. Their career is over. And that's whether they're guilty or innocent. Whether this happened or didn't happen. Just the fact of the accusation is something that can never be dissipated. It never goes away," Benjamin said.
Mullens performed work for Landmark Christian School in Henrico, and, Christian Youth Theatre Richmond. Neither organization responded to calls for comment.
Mullens is due in Richmond Circuit Court May 16th.