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Counselor arrested on sex crimes

SALEM -- Michael Allen Shaffer, 47, of Dallas, was arrested Tuesday, May 11 in Salem.

He faces a first-degree sodomy charge in Marion County and charges of methamphetamine possession and invasion of privacy in Polk County. He is being held in the Polk County Jail on $90,000 bail.

Shaffer works in Polk County's mental health department as a counselor for clients with mental illnesses.

According to the job specification for Mental Health Counselor I, someone with Shaffer's job maintains a therapeutic environment through regularly scheduled community outings, activities and focus groups in accordance with the client's treatment plan.

Shaffer asked for and was granted vacation leave, said Polk County Human Resources Manager Kim Wallace. Shaffer's clients were not involved in the alleged crimes, Wallace said.

Shaffer is set to appear in Marion County court Wednesday, May 19. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled in Polk County Circuit Court Thursday, May 20.

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