According to local media, a 24-year-old social worker in Ohio is suspected of having sex with a 13-year-old kid she was assigned to advise.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Payton Shires was detained without incident on Friday, her birthday, after admitting to the sexual contact during a three-way call between Shires, the boy’s mother, and police.
Shires formerly worked for the National Youth Advocate Programme (NYAP), which offers counselling, social work, and advocacy to families involved in the foster care system, according to the article. Shires’ departure from the organisation was not specified.
According to court filings, the boy’s mother called police on Sept. 27 after discovering suspicious text messages from Shires on the 13-year-old’s mobile.
According to court filings, police discovered a video on the phone of the teen and Shires engaging in sexual activity. The boy allegedly informed detectives that he had intercourse with Shires several times in September at several locations in Columbus.
Shires was charged with unlawful sexual behaviour with a juvenile, according to WSYX-TV. She was being held in jail on a $500,000 bond. Her next court date, according to online records, is Oct. 16.
Shires received her social worker licence in June. In a statement, NYAP said it is working with the police inquiry.
“Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility. The National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) is saddened by the situation involving one of our former employees and a young person served by our organization,” the statement said. “NYAP has reported the situation to Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) and is collaborating with them and the Columbus Police Department on this case.”