A social worker in Mount Sterling, Ohio, stands accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy who was her client.
On Friday, the Columbus Division of Police SWAT team arrested 24-year-old Payton H. Shires whom police say used to work for the National Youth Advocate Program, WBNS reported Friday.
KATU shared an image of the suspect in the case on Friday:
Police arrested social worker Payton Shires, charging her with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor after concerns arose over text messages between herself and a 13-year-old boy whom she was counseling.https://t.co/X6nVompcmZ— KATU News (@KATUNews) October 8, 2023
Charges against her came after the teenager’s mother notified law enforcement on September 27 once she found texts between her child and the suspect.
The WBNS report continued:
In the messages, Shires allegedly asked the teen if he had “deleted the videos,” and if his mother had “seen the videos or messages.” The teen’s mother turned the phone over to the officers who responded to the call.
Records show that days later detectives found a video on that cellphone of Shires and the 13-year-old victim having sex and engaging in other sex acts at various locations in Columbus. All the incidents, according to court records, occurred in September.
Shires reportedly admitted to having sex with the teen on a three-way call between her, the teen’s mother and detectives.
According to WSYX, officials charged the suspect with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
🚨🚨Breaking: Social worker, Payton Shires, 24, who previously worked for The National Youth Advocate Program, has admitted to having sex with her 13 year old client on multiple occasions.— Will (@WillSaveTheKids) October 8, 2023
Shires has been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. pic.twitter.com/FSgfHpPajl
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network’s (RAINN) website, child sexual abuse is defined as “a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor.”
“A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period,” the site reads, adding, “When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years.”
Shires’ bond was set at $500,000 and she is scheduled to reappear in the courtroom on October 16.
The WBNS article noted police said more charges could be levied against the suspect.