Social Worker Accused of Inappropriate Relationship with Clients

( – Payton Shires, a 24-year-old social worker was arrested on October 6 by the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) for having intercourse with a 13-year-old boy she was counseling. Shires had only been a licensed social worker since June and previously worked for the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP).

The victim’s mother called the police on September 27 after finding text messages from Shires on her son’s phone. Shires admitted to the relationship when she was contacted by his mother and CPD in a 3-way call. Police also found video evidence of the intercourse on the teen’s phone. The teen told police that they had intercourse several times at various locations during the month of September.

Shires is being held in jail on a $500,000 bond and will appear back in court on October 16. The NYAP released a statement following the news of Shires’s conduct, stating that “Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility.” The statement also said that the NYAP “reported the situation to Franklin County Children Services (FCCS)” and will be working with them and the CPD on the case. Shires is facing a felony charge and is forbidden from having unsupervised contact with any minor. Police alleged that Shires asked the teen if he had deleted the videos of them having intercourse. She also reportedly asked if his mother had seen the videos or text messages between the two.

A 2021 post on X, formerly Twitter, by Shires, highlighted her accomplishments of owning a home, being engaged, and having a 1-year-old child and dog by the age of 21. One user dug up the post, writing an updated list of accomplishments by Shires. “Own a house, 3 dogs, married, have a 4-year-old son and in jail for sleeping with a 13 year old. All at 24.” Shires’s account was deleted shortly after people began commenting on her posts. Additional charges could be filed against Shires over the next several days, according to CPD.

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