A 24-year-old social worker, who was counseling juveniles, was arrested for allegedly participating in sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old boy.
Last Friday, members of the Columbus Division of Police SWAT team apprehended Payton Shires.
Shires, who was formerly employed by the National Youth Advocate Program, was accused by the police of engaging in sexual activities multiple times with a 13-year-old client assigned to her for counseling.
She is currently facing a third-degree felony charge of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, with additional charges possible.
The teen’s mother called the police on September 27th after discovering text messages between her son and Shires, as stated in Franklin County court records.
In the messages, Shires allegedly inquired if the teen had “deleted the videos” and if his mother had “seen the videos or messages.” The phone was handed over to the responding officers by the teen’s mother.
According to court records, detectives found a video on that cellphone days later showing Shires and the 13-year-old victim engaging in sexual activities and having sex at different locations in Columbus. These incidents took place in September of 2023.
According to reports, Shires allegedly confessed to engaging in sexual activity with the teenager during a three-way call involving herself, the teenager’s mother, and detectives.
The Columbus Division of Police Exploited Children/PACT Unit conducted the investigation on Shires, with support from the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Payton Shires made an appearance in court on Saturday, where a bond of $500,000 was set. Her next court appearance is scheduled for October 16th.