A 27-year-old school counsellor from West Liberty, Iowa, was arrested on Tuesday after police said she sexually abused a boy younger than 14.
West Liberty Police arrested Emily Resendiz on Monday evening on several charges, including sexual exploitation and second-degree sex abuse.
According to court documents, Resendiz, who said she is employed with a children's clothing store and West Liberty Middle School, is facing two felony charges of second-degree sexual abuse and an aggravated-misdemeanor charge of sexual exploitation by a counselor/therapist.
Victim Says He Had Sexual Intercourse with Resendiz on Two Occasions
On Jan. 24, 2022, the West Liberty Police Department received reports of an inappropriate relationship between Resendiz and the teenage boy. Resendiz was, at the time of the incident, a counselor at the West Liberty Middle School. During the investigation, photos of Resendiz kissing the victim were found on the victim's phone, arrest affidavits say.
An investigation "led to officers discovering that sexual abuse had taken place at (her) home." The victim also disclosed to officers that he had sexual intercourse with Resendiz on at least two separate occasions in 2021: Dec. 6 and on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Investigators served several warrants and found multiple pieces of evidence consistent with the victim's claims.
Resendiz Arrested for Witness Tampering Last Month
Resendiz was arrested last month for for tampering with a witness or juror by harassment with the intent to improperly influence them, as reported by KCRG. According to documents, Resendiz contacted the victim in order to find out what the victim told officers about the investigation.
A no-contact order was issued barring Resendiz from contacting and she was released on a $2,300 bond. She is currently being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond in Muscatine County Jail and is set for a preliminary hearing on March 18 in Muscatine County Court.
In Iowa, second-degree sexual abuse is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A school district official on Tuesday said Resendiz was still employed by the district and had been placed on leave.