CLEVELAND — A licensed Cleveland social worker was indicted Thursday on two third-degree felony counts of sexual battery in an incident involving a patient.
Sheldon Lovejoy’s true bill indictment alleges that on or about October 20, 2020 Lovejoy “did engage in sexual conduct with Jane Doe, not his spouse, when the victim was a patient in a hospital or other institution and Sheldon Lovejoy had supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim.”
The indictment also alleges Lovejoy “did engage in sexual conduct with Jane Doe, not his spouse, knowing that the victim’s ability to appraise the nature of or control of her conduct was substantially impaired.”
Following a months long investigation, Jim Mackey of the Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task Force said Lovejoy took advantage of a patient who was seeking mental health rehabilitation services at Frontline Services in Cleveland.
“Portraying himself to be a person of support, an avenue to reach out to when you need help,” Mackey said. “We see all too often and it’s a very unfortunate circumstance, you have a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothes.”
Mackey said Lovejoy used his job position to gain the patient’s trust, only to take advantage of her sexually.
“Unfortunately in this case, our victim reached out to Sheldon Lovejoy for help and he came giving anything but help,” Mackey said.
News 5 confirmed Frontline Services terminated Lovejoy’s employment in late November, but he is still employed at Cleveland Christian Home—a center specializing in helping children struggling to overcome emotional and behavioral challenges.
CEO Chuck Tuttle provided News 5 with the following written statement:
“The Cleveland Christian Home does not condone any illegal activity, and we will seek clarification on the facts pertaining to this situation as we investigate this matter. We will take the appropriate action as necessary.”
Lovejoy is still licensed by the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board of Ohio.
Executive Director Brian Carnahan responded to the allegations against Lovejoy Thursday in a written statement:
“The Board take seriously all allegations of potential violations of the code of ethics by Board licensees. The information regarding the indictment of Mr. Lovejoy is deeply concerning. With notice of the indictment of Mr. Lovejoy, the Board will be monitoring closely the progress of the criminal case. In instances where someone is convicted of a felony, the license of that person is normally revoked. Mr. Lovejoy would be subject to the same sanction if he is convicted or if during an investigation by the Board it is determined he violated the code of ethics in such a serious way.”
News 5 attempted to speak to Lovejoy regarding the allegations against him when he returned home Thursday night, but he drove off before field crews could ask him for comment.
Lovejoy is scheduled to appear in court mid-February.
The Cuyahoga Regional Human Trafficking Task force said it has reason to believe Lovejoy’s alleged behavior is not an isolated incident. Detectives urge any victim of Lovejoy’s to come forward by calling 216-443-6085.