A Bradenton couple was charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct involving special needs adults after an investigation began last month, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
David Makynen, 30, was contracted with the state of Florida as a supported living coach in many group homes for the past 12 years, mostly in Manatee and Sarasota, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to the arrest warrant, Makynen’s boyfriend Jeremiah Damsgaard, 25, negotiated sex between Makynen and a 25-year-old with an intellectual disability, who has known Makynen since age 13. Damsgaard, who had no affiliation with the group homes, promised the victim gifts and money.
According to the warrant, when asked if a caregiver should be having sex with the person in his care, Makynen told detectives, “Probably not.”
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Makynen was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of sexual battery on a total of three men with special needs between the ages of 25 and 50.
Damsgaard was also charged with one count of lewd and lascivious battery and four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a 14-year-old victim. Damsgaard told detectives he thought the victim was 12 or 13, according to the warrant.
Another count of sexual battery on a 29-year-old victim, who was under Makynen’s care, was added to Damsgaard’s charges Monday.
The location of where the abuse occurred wasn’t specified.
Makynen and Damsgaard are being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.
The Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, which is the state office that is in charge of training and supported living coach certifications, said Makynen passed a Level 2 background check and completed training to become a supported living coach. APD communications director Melanie Etters said Makynen was terminated in light of the allegations.
“The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has a zero tolerance policy of any form of abuse or exploitation of individuals with disabilities, and we hold our providers to the highest level of accountability,” Etters said in an email. “APD is working with all current and former clients to ensure they are taken care of.”
Detectives discovered fraud allegations during the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office, which will be investigated by the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information on the case can contact the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477.