Update (February 3, 2017) — All charges against Alma Rice were dismissed.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A woman is behind bars for her actions with a minor in a public park.
Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a passerby at Cascades Park in Bloomington called police to report people possibly having sex in a van.
“Because it’s a park area, there’s a lot of children in that area, the complaint came in (and) they thought it was very inappropriate what they thought they were seeing inside that van,” Bloomington Police Captain Steve Kellams said.
The caller relayed the van description and license plate number. An officer saw the van leaving the park area and pulled it over. Inside, the officer found Alma Rice, 41, and a 15-year-old girl.
According to court paperwork, when the officer questioned Rice, “she appeared very nervous and continued referring to jail.” She then admitted to fondling the girl after she “pulled the blinds closed over the windows” in the van, and also in public near a playground at the park.
The officer says in that paperwork that Rice also admitted to knowing the girl was under 18.
For frequent users of the park, like Grace Padget, the arrest was unusual.
“I haven’t ever met any sketchy characters around here, I also haven’t heard too many bad things,” Padget said.
Kellams says it was the quick-thinking of the passerby that assured the minor was safe and allowed for an investigation into this case.
“The citizens seeing things that are inappropriate, knowing things that aren’t supposed to be happening, and reporting those, that’s really what our job is, to respond to those issues and instances and make sure everybody is safe,” Kellams said.
Rice was still behind bars as of Thursday night, being held on a $5,500 bond.