37-year-old man gave teens STD, police say

He allegedly had three girls do work for him, then had sex with them.

Christopher Atchison, of 1419 Linden Ave. in Springfield, is facing four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor — third-degree felonies.

According to police, the sexual relationships began last summer. He befriended the three girls and their families, and invited the girls to help him at empty houses he was paid to clean for landlords.

It was there he had sex with them.

The girls were under the age of 16, said Sgt. Jeffrey Flores.

“A typical predator. He would befriend them and he would just groom them until he was able to engage in sexual activities with them,” Flores said.

Police along with Children’s Services were first alerted to the case when one of the victim’s parents found out their teen had contracted an sexually transmitted disease, Flores said.

“What happened is the children became involved with some medical issues because of an STD that was being passed through this individual,” he said.

There could be more victims, and Flores said he intends to bring additional charges to a Clark County grand jury.

Atchison’s neighbors said he often offered to do work around the neighborhood and they are concerned that others may have fallen prey to his alleged activities.

“I have a 15-year-old daughter. That terrifies me,” said Debra Rothgeb, who lives in the Wheldon Park neighborhood.

“Parents need to keep a better watch on their kids and who they hang out with and know your neighbors, because I thought I knew my neighbors, but obviously not too well,” Rothgeb added.

Atchison has a prior burglary and drug history, but is not a registered sex offender. He is being held in the Clark County Jail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. today in Clark County Municipal Court, according to court documents.

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