A 24-year-old social worker in Ohio who is charged with having sex with a 13-year-old boy she was assigned to counsel, now faces additional charges for allegedly trying to intimidate the boy’s family.
Columbus, Ohio ABC station WSYX reported that Payton Shires appeared before a judge last week and became emotional as the charges were read to her.
Court records show a warrant was issued for Shires’ arrest on Oct. 26. And she was arraigned in court on Oct. 28 on charges of intimidating a witness by force or threat.
During the hearing, prosecutors said Shires showed up at the 13-year-old boy’s home, with a gun.
While there, she threatened to kill herself, the station reported, and blamed the family for “ruining her life.”
On Oct. 6, Payton was arrested without incident and admitted to a 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 is unclear when she stopped working for the organization.
The boy’s mom called police on Sept. 27 after finding suspicious text messages on the 13-year-old’s cellphone from Shires.
When police searched the phone, they found a video of the teen and Shires engaged in sexual conduct, according to court records. The teen reportedly told detectives he had sex with Shires multiple times in September at different locations in Columbus.
She was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and held on $500,000 bond.
Because of the new charges, Shires’s bond has been revoked, and she is expected to remain behind bars until her next court appearance scheduled for Nov. 6.
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