A guidance counselor is accused of sexually assaulting a middle school student.
Kelly Ann Schutte, 35, of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, is charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person under 16 years of age.
The investigation began on July 18, 2023, when a woman contacted the Upper Perk Police Department in Pennsburg. The woman said her 14-year-old son told her he was in a romantic and sexual relationship with Schutte, who worked as a guidance counselor at Pennridge South Middle School.
The teen had called his parents on the night of July 17 in a panic and told them he needed to be picked up from Schutte’s home, according to the criminal complaint. The boy’s parents went to the scene and found their son hiding behind a parked vehicle, police said. The boy said a member of Schutte’s family spotted him and Schutte kissing at her home. The family member then entered the house in anger and told the boy to get out, according to investigators. The teen said he got scared and ran away from the house, hiding on a nearby street where he called his parents and then told them about his relationship with Schutte, police said .
During an interview with police on July 19, the teen said he spoke with Schutte regularly during the fall of 2022 after a school trip in which they sat together on a school bus. The boy said he was regularly called to Schutte’s office during the rest of the school year and sometimes missed class. The boy said he and Schutte had sexual contact on multiple occasions in Bucks and Montgomery counties in June and July 2023.
The boy also said he and Schutte communicated through the school district’s messaging app “Canvas” as well as the social media app Snapchat.
While searching the boy’s cellphone, police found messages between him and Schutte as well as photos of them together at her home in Pennsburg, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators also said they obtained messages between Schutte and the boy on Canvas as well as handwritten notes confirming the teen’s statements.
Police said they obtained surveillance footage showing Schutte and the teen visiting a supermarket together in Pennsburg where she purchased a bottle of wine.
Police also said Schutte sexually assaulted the teen at his Bucks County home while his family was away in mid-June. Investigators said they also found Schutte’s earring inside the home.
Charges were filed against Schutte on Thursday following the investigation. In a letter to the school community, Pennridge School District Superintendent Angelo Berrios III said the district was aware of the allegations against Schutte in July and immediately placed her on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigation. Schutte is currently prohibited from entering school district premises or having any contact with Pennridge School District students and staff. Berrios also said the district is cooperating with the district attorney’s office.
Schutte was arraigned Friday and posted a $25,000 unsecured bond. NBC10 contacted Schutte’s attorney who had no comment.