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Jonathan Nivar, former KidsPeace counselor, charged with sexual abuse

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 07 2013 03:16:08 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 07 2013 04:30:11 PM CDT

A former KidsPeace counselor, once tasked with watching over troubled teens, instead took advantage of his position, officials said.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A former KidsPeace counselor, once tasked with watching over troubled teens, instead took advantage of his position, officials said.

Jonathan Nivar was charged Friday with multiple counts of sexual abuse.

While a counselor for the private charity, Nivar sexually abused a 14-year-old boy he was supposed to be taking care of, according to court documents.

Nivar allegedly wrote a love letter to the teen, stating, "I want to hold you in my arms. You are the perfect kind of guy for me."

Nivar, 23, of Bethlehem, also forced the boy to perform sex acts inside his car, which was parked in the KidsPeace parking lot, and exposed the teen to pornography, according to court documents.

Nivar is also accused of having a romantic relationship with an 18-year-old client, which carries a charge of institutional sexual assault.

"I don't believe it. I don't believe it," said Nivar's stepfather, Carlos Fuents, in reaction to the arrest.

His family said Nivar was asked to leave KidsPeace in January. KidsPeace did say Nivar was hired last July and went through all the proper background and security checks and recommendations.

When informed of the allegations, the charity said Nivar was placed on administrative leave, and it is cooperating fully with police.

As for Nivar's family, it's holding out hope he is innocent.

"Trying to get money to get him out of there. I don't know, maybe have to sell the house or something like that," Fuents said.

Nivar was committed to the Lehigh County Prison on $250,000 bail.