Metro recovery group responds to charges filed against former member
Members from a "Narcotics Anonymous" group are responding to sexual battery charges filed against a former member. The charges and the arrest warrant were issued against 62-year-old Antonio Maldonado Monday. He is accused of taking advantage of a woman recovering from addiction. According to court documents he promised he'd sign participation papers as long as she agreed to sleep with him. Police say Maldonado sexually assaulted a woman outside of a meeting in south Oklahoma City. Something members say has nothing to do with the good the program does. "If that's something that happened on the inside we would have called the police and had him arrested ourselves," said member Rickey Nickelberry. Police say it was back on October 14th when he followed a woman into the parking lot. She was taking a smoke break when Maldonado allegedly pinned her against a truck, groped her and tried to assault her. A group leader happened to be walking out and yelled for him to stop. The victim says Maldonado offered to sign her meeting papers if she agreed to sleep with him. "She also said she believed there were several more victims who basically had been taken advantage of in the same way," said SSgt. Jennifer Wardlow. Nickelberry tells Fox 25 there's a board of people who chair the meetings. Although Maldonado was a chair person in the past he was not at the time. "So he was not placed in a position from the committee to sign any paper at that particular time," said Nickelberry. "So if he did say that then he was probably lying at the time." Nickelberry is a recovering addict and was sent there by a court order. "They realized that there is a program that works," said Nickelberry. "I mean we have an 87% success rate." He's been clean for almost eleven years and he says the group is a sanctuary for addicts. "It offered hope and the promise of freedom," said Nickelberry. He wants to make sure Maldonado's alleged offenses don't take away from the work the group does. The group says they have no tolerance for that kind of behavior and they tell us Maldonado has since been banned. An arrest warrant has been issued for him so if you know where he is call police.