Ohio Social Worker Admits to Sexually Abusing 13-Year-Old Boy She was Counselling

Payton Shires
Payton Shires Facebook

A former youth counselor admitted to engaging in sexual activity with a young male patient on Tuesday, May 28.

Payton Shires, 27, entered guilty pleas to multiple charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and single counts of intimidation of a witness or victim and inducing panic Tuesday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch.

Judge Mark Serrott scheduled Shires' sentencing for June 27. She faces a maximum sentence of more than 20 years in prison. Any sentence Shires receives will also require her to register as a sexual offender for 25 years.

Shires was Arrested After Victim's Mom Found Inappropriate Text Messages on Son's Phone

Shires, of Madison County, worked as a counselor with the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) when she met the 13-year-old victim. NYAP terminated Shires' employment after her arrest.

In late September, the victim's mother found text messages on his phone from Shires that led the mother to believe some type of inappropriate interaction was taking place between Shires and her son.

The mother reported the messages to Columbus police, which did a forensic evaluation of the boy's phone, leading to the discovery of additional text messages and a video of Shires and the boy engaging in sexual conduct.

During the investigation, it was also found that Shires and the boy also allegedly engaged in unspecified sexual encounters at least twice throughout the city of Columbus, according to WSYX-TV.

The victim's mother, in conjunction with police, did a controlled three-way phone call with Shires in which she admitted to the conduct.

Shires was Rearrested After She Went to Victim's Home, Threatened to Kill His Mother

Shires was arrested in October and then released after posting a $500,000 bond. While out on that bond, Shires went to the victim's home with a firearm in violation of several conditions of her release.

Shires told the victim's mother she wanted to kill the woman and then herself and that "because she and the victim ruined her life and took everything from her." Shires remains in the Franklin County jail pending her sentencing.