Female Pennsylvania Child Therapist Charged with Raping Boy During Sessions, Threatened to Write Report That Would Keep Him at Facility Longer

Kayla Howard
Kayla Howard Facebook

A woman who provided therapy at a facility that offers children residential care is facing allegations that she repeatedly sexually assaulted her patient.

Kayla Howard, a therapist in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, is facing multiple charges following an investigation. The, 30-year-old therapist, of Berlin, was arraigned before District Judge William Seger of Windber Friday on charges filed that day by state police.

She is charged with rape, forcible compulsion, statutory sexual assault: 11 years older, indecent deviant sexual intercourse, first-degree felonies; sexual assault, second-degree felony; institutional sexual assault of minor and corruption of minors, third-degree felonies; and indecent assault person less than 16 years age and indecent exposure, misdemeanors.

Howard Accused of Engaging in Sexual Intercourse with 14-Year-Old Boy During Therapy Sessions

The investigation and resulting accusation that Howard sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy were prompted by "multiple childline reports that alleged inappropriate conversations and contact with multiple juveniles" who live in the Somerset County Youth Aid Home or attend the partial hospitalization program there, according to state police.

Investigators say last month, troopers interviewed a teenage boy, who told police that he was enrolled as a student in the "Partial Program" at the home last summer.

Police said the teen, who was 14 at the time, disclosed that Howard allegedly performed sex acts on him, approximately 7 or 8 times, during one-on-one therapy sessions. The teen also said they had sexual intercourse on one occasion in her office. The incidents are reported to have occurred from June to August 2023.

Howard Allegedly Told Boy if He Refused, She Would Write an Unfavourable Report

The youth told police that "he looked at Howard as an authority figure," Frank wrote. "She had mentioned to him during sessions that if he refused she could reflect that he was refusing to talk in her reports," according to the affidavit.

The boy knew such a report would keep him at the home for a longer time, Frank wrote. Howard was released from the Somerset County Jail Tuesday after posting a $100,000 bond, according to online court records.