Ohio social worker, 24, accused of having sex with 13-year-old client: reports
A 24-year-old social worker in Ohio is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy she was assigned to counsel, according to local reports.
Police say Payton Shires was arrested Friday – which records show was her birthday – without incident after admitting to the sexual relationship during a three-way call between Shires, the boy’s mother and police, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Shires was previously employed by the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP), which provides counseling, social work and advocacy for families involved in the foster care system, the report said. It was unclear when Shires stopped working for the organization.
The boy’s mother called police on Sept. 27 after finding suspicious text messages on the 13-year-old’s cellphone from Shires, the newspaper reported, citing court documents.
Police found a video on the phone of the teen and Shires engaged in sexual conduct, according to the court records. The teen reportedly told detectives he had sex with Shires multiple times in September at different locations in Columbus.
Shires was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, the WSYX-TV reported. She was being held on $500,000 bond. Online records show that her next court date is Oct. 16.
Shires had her social worker license issued in June. NYAP told the station in a statement that it is cooperating with the police investigation.
“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.”