North Carolina School Counselor Accused of Having Sexual Relationship with Student, Planned to Leave Husband and Kids for Victim

Jessica Patrick Finley
Jessica Patrick Finley Facebook

A former McDowell High School guidance counselor and volleyball coach is accused of engaging in sexual acts at the school with a student and said she planned to leave her husband and children for the student, according to search warrants filed Tuesday.

As reported by local news outlet McDowell News, Jessica Patrick Finley, 29, of Marion, was arrested on charges of felony sex act with a student and felony statutory sex offense with a child under the age of 15 on Feb. 28 after an investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation into her inappropriate relationship with a minor student at the school.

Finley, Student Discussed 'Future Plans' on Text, She Told Him She Planned to Leave Her Husband, Children

McDowell County Sheriff's Office started investigating Finley following a complaint the victim's parents made to McDowell High School authorities about inappropriate text messages between their child and Finley.

The investigation, later handed over to the State Bureau of Investigation due to a conflict of interest, revealed several conversations between Finley and the student that were sexual in nature. Those conversations included discussions of sexual encounters with one another in the past, and sex acts they wanted to perform on each other in the future, according to the search warrant obtained by McDowell News.

The messages also included conversations about Finley and the victim discussing "their relationship, their love for one another, and their future plans of being together," according to the search warrant. Finley also made statements to the victim regarding leaving her husband and children to be with the minor victim.

Student Admitted Finley Performed Sexual Acts on Him in Her Office at the School

During an interview with the victim regarding the text messages, the victim described the relationship with Finley as a dating relationship and admitted that Finley had performed sexual acts on the victim on multiple occasions in Finley's Guidance Counselor office at McDowell County High School, the warrant states.

Finley also suggested they switch to Snapchat to communicate to make it more difficult to retrieve records, the documents show.

Finley, who resigned from her position as guidance counsellor and the school's head volleyball coach on the day of her arrest, is still in custody under a $600,000 bond. She is currently being held at the Yancey County Detention Center. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 15.