Middle school guidance counselor, 35, charged with sexual assault for alleged explicit relationship with 14-year-old student

News & Politics

A Pennsylvania guidance counselor has been charged with sexual assault after allegedly engaging in an explicit relationship with a 14-year-old student.

Kelly Schutte, 35, was charged on Thursday 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, according to the district attorney’s office. Schutte was reportedly released on $25,000 bail.

Schutte is a guidance counselor at the Pennridge South Middle School in Perkasie, Pennsylvania.

In July, the teen’s mother notified police that her son informed her that he had been in a “romantic and sexual relationship” with Schutte since the fall of 2022.

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When detectives interviewed the teen, he said that the alleged inappropriate relationship began during a field trip when the pair reportedly sat next to each other on a school bus.

The guidance counselor and student allegedly began exchanging messages on Canvas – a program that allows school staff to communicate with students.

The teen alleged that he would soon start spending more time in Schutte’s office at the school, and less time in his classes.

The student told police that after the school year ended he continued to communicate with Schutte on the Snapchat instant messaging app.

The student allegedly said the relationship became sexual in June.

According to the affidavit, the pair engaged in sex acts inside Schutte’s car in the parking lot of a local supermarket, in the teen’s bedroom while his parents were out of town, and at her home.

Schutte reportedly left one of her earrings at the teen’s home and it was recovered by investigators, the affidavit alleges.

In July, a relative reportedly walked into Schutte’s home and saw the guidance counselor kissing the boy. After being caught, the teen allegedly told his mother about the explicit relationship.

Authorities notified the Pennridge School District – which placed Schutte on administrative leave in July pending the results of an investigation.

A spokesperson for the Pennridge School District confirmed on Friday afternoon that Schutte was still employed there.

Schutte is prohibited from entering any district-owned properties.

Pennridge Superintendent Angelo Berrios said in a statement Friday, “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.”

Schutte’s attorney, Josh Buchanan, did not return a request for comment from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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