Social Worker Molested Boy She Was Supposed to Help. When His Mom Called Police, Abuser Came to House with Gun

Payton Shires could face more than 20 years in prison

<p>Colombus Police Department</p> Payton Shires

Colombus Police Department

Payton Shires

An Ohio social worker admitted to sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy she had been counseling.

Payton Shires pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful sexual misconduct with a minor among other charges, according to reports from The Columbus Dispatch, WBNS and WCMH.

Shires was first arrested in October after the victim’s mother found messages between the counselor and her son, regarding a video that authorities said was of the two having sex, according to previous reports.

In the reported messages, Shires asked the child if he had deleted the videos and if his mother had seen the videos.

WBNS reported that Shires also pleaded guilty to inducing panic with a firearm specification and one count of intimidation to a victim or witness.

The outlets previously reported that Shires, after her initial arrest, showed up at the boy’s home with a gun. WBNS reported, citing court records, that Shires was sitting on the porch with the gun to her head when police arrived, yelling that she wanted to kill the boy’s mother and die by suicide.

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Related: Social Worker Accused of Sex Abuse Allegedly Went to Boy's House with Gun, Threatened to Kill Mom: Reports

The Dispatch reported the victim’s mother was on a controlled three-way call with Shires and police, on which Shires admitted to the abuse.

Court records indicate that Shires’ sentencing is scheduled for June 27, and according to reports, could face more than 20 years in prison.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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