Kelly Ann Schutte, 35, was put on administrative leave after she was accused by authorities of sexually assaulting a student
A middle school guidance counselor in Pennsylvania has been accused by authorities of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student.
Kelly Ann Schutte, 35, of Pennridge, is charged with three counts of institutional sexual assault, three counts of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old and one count of corruption of minors, the court docket shows.
Schutte allegedly assaulted the student when he was 14 and she worked as a guidance counselor at Pennridge South Middle School in Bucks County, according to the criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Schutte turned herself in on Thursday night and was arraigned Friday morning, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office confirmed in an email.
She was released on $25,000 unsecured bail on the conditions that she avoid any contact with the teen and the teen's family and that she stay away from any Pennridge School District facilities.
She allegedly sexually abused the boy at her house and in his own bedroom in June when his parents and sister were away for the day, the criminal complaint alleges.
She also allegedly sexually assaulted him in her SUV on July 17 while they were driving to her home from the Weis Supermarket in Pennsburg Borough, according to the criminal complaint. She had driven to the supermarket with the alleged victim to buy a bottle of wine and other items, it claims.
Afterward, surveillance footage allegedly shows the two entering Schutte’s SUV and driving from the main parking lot to a secluded tree line where she parked the vehicle for about seven minutes before departing, the criminal complaint claims.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities learned about the alleged abuse when the teen's “concerned” mother called the Upper Perk Police Department on July 18 to claim that her son had been “kissed and touched inappropriately by his middle school guidance counselor," the complaint says.
He allegedly told his parents that he and Schutte had a romantic and sexual relationship, the boy's mother said, according to the complaint.
The student's parents learned about the alleged abuse after he called them the night before “in a panic”, saying he needed to be picked up at Schutte’s home, the criminal complaint states.
When the parents arrived, they found the student hiding behind a parked car. He allegedly told his parents that a member of Schutte’s family had seen him and Schutte kissing inside her house and "angrily" told him to get out, the complaint says.
When the student met with investigators on July 19, he allegedly told them the relationship with Schutte began in the fall of 2022 when they sat together on the school bus during a class trip, the complaint states.
After that, he alleged Schutte began calling him to her office, causing him to sometimes miss class, the complaint states.
Schutte allegedly began sexually abusing the student in Montgomery and Bucks counties in June 2023, the complaint says.
Police allegedly found messages and pictures on the teen's cell phone of him with Schutte at her house, the complaint says.
Investigators said they found one of Schutte’s earrings inside the teen's home after she allegedly sexually assaulted the student at his house in June, the complaint says.
They also allegedly found evidence that the student and Schutte communicated with each other on the school’s messaging system and then via Snapchat, the complaint says.
Investigators allegedly recovered a number of handwritten notes from the teen which were in Schutte’s office, according to the complaint.
On Friday, the Pennridge School District released a statement saying that Schutte had been placed on administrative leave.
In the statement, Superintendent Angelo Berrios said, "While we refrain from making premature judgments about the actions of the staff member facing prosecution, it is crucial to reiterate the district's stance against any inappropriate contact between a Pennridge School District employee and a student. Such behavior will NOT be tolerated. We want to assure you that the district is fully cooperating with the District Attorney's Office,” the Bucks County Herald reports.
The Upper Perk Police Department referred all calls for comment to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for information.
Schutte’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
She is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 20 for a preliminary hearing.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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