A Pennsylvania middle school counselor allegedly groomed a 14-year-old student and sexually abused him on multiple occasions over the summer before cops became involved.
Guidance counselor Kelly Ann Schutte, 35, was charged with institutional sexual assault and other crimes for the inappropriate relationship with the boy that began in the fall of 2022 and continued through this summer, according to court records and reports.
Cops were first keyed off to the alleged abuse in July when a family member of Schutte — who worked at Pennridge South Middle School — reportedly spotted them kissing inside her home, according to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC10-Philadelphia.
The relative, who witnessed the alleged kiss from outside, reportedly stormed into the house and demanded the teen leave, the student said. The scared teen ran out and hid behind a parked vehicle around the block and called his parents in a panic to be picked up, the local station reported.
The boy then told his parents that he was in a romantic and sexual relationship with Schutte and his mother called police the following day on July 18, the complaint states.
The middle schooler told investigators that he had sat next to his counselor on a school bus on the way back from a class trip in fall 2022. After that, Schutte would frequently call him into her office — often during class time — and began messaging through Canvas, the school district’s digital platform and messaging system, according to the document.
Once the school year ended, their conversations moved to Snapchat and their relationship became physical with the student telling police he and Schutte had sexual contact numerous times in June and July of this year.
Schutte allegedly assaulted the boy in her own home in Pennsburg, in his Bucks County home while his parents were away and in her car, according to the complaint.
Investigators found the counselor’s earring in the student’s home and discovered messages between them and photos of them together on his phone. They also obtained their message history from Canvas as well as handwritten notes confirming the boy’s account of their relationship, the document states.
Schutte was charged with three counts of institutional sexual assault – intercourse/sexual contact with a student, three counts of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old and one count of corruption of minors.
She was arraigned Friday and posted $25,000 unsecured bail, according to NBC10.
The counselor was placed on administrative leave in July pending the results of her case and has been banned from entering school district premises or having any contact with students and staff within the Pennridge School District.
“While we refrain from making premature judgments about the actions of the staff member facing prosecution, it is crucial to reiterate the district’s stance against any inappropriate contact between a Pennridge School District employee and a student,” the district said in a statement Friday. “Such behavior will NOT be tolerated.”
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