Social worker accused of sexual relationship with 13-year-old patient

COLUMBUS, OH – A 24-year-old social worker, Payton Shires, is facing charges after allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy she was supposed to be counseling. Shires was taken into custody without any issues on her birthday, as per local sources.

Shires was formerly an employee of the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP), an organization that offers counseling, social work, and advocacy for families in the foster care system. The timeline of her employment termination with NYAP remains unclear.

The boy’s mother alerted the police on September 27 after discovering suspicious text messages from Shires on her son’s cellphone. Court documents reveal that a video involving Shires and the teenager in a sexual act was found on the boy’s phone. The teen disclosed to investigators that he had been involved sexually with Shires multiple times in September at various locations in Columbus.

Shires is facing charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and is currently held on a $500,000 bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for October 16.

NYAP, in a statement, expressed their sadness over the situation involving their former employee and a minor under their care. They affirmed their cooperation with the police investigation and reported the situation to Franklin County Children Services (FCCS).