Lauren Michelle Myres: Florida social worker sentenced to six years jail after sleeping with teen boy she adopted following a child protection services case.
A former Okaloosa County, Florida social worker was on Wednesday sentenced to six years in prison for having sex with a teenager she had adopted, authorities said.
Lauren Michelle Myres — a 26-year-old woman previously employed as a caseworker at Families First Network — was charged back in May following a tip to authorities indicating the Fort Walton Beach woman having an inappropriate relationship with the 17-year-old victim, First Judicial Circuit State Attorney William Eddins announced Thursday.
The victim had been assigned to Myres as one of the children she was tasked to assist at the nonprofit child protective services agency based in Pensacola.
‘She eventually decided to foster the victim and ultimately adopted him,’ Eddins wrote in a news release. ‘After the adoption was finalized, it was discovered that Myres had been having sex with the victim.’
Myres and the teen told investigators that they had sex seven to eight times throughout a span of two months, Eddins said.
Myres pleaded no contest last week to one count of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. She will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life and cannot have contact with the victim or other minors upon her release.
The boy told police after Myres’ arrest that he didn’t think sex with her was wrong because he ‘was not being raped and was about to be 18,’ the Northwest Florida Daily News reported.
Lauren Michelle Myres former employer: ‘There were no red flags.’
‘I can’t say I’ve ever seen a case like this where an adoption occurred and sex occurred shortly thereafter,’ Okaloosa County Chief Assistant State Attorney Bill Bishop told the media outlet on Thursday. ‘There have been cases of older women having sex with young boys across the country, but this is the first I’ve ever seen.’
Myres worked for the Families First Network for more than two years, a spokeswoman told the newspaper. No ‘red flags’ were spotted prior to her hiring, spokeswoman Tish Pennewill said.
Myres, was hired in 2015 shortly after earning a degree in criminal justice from the University of West Florida. Of note, Pennewill said there were ‘no red flags’ indicating unexpected behavior.
‘We have a culture that dictates rigorous requirements for having good people, people with the heart to do the type of service we do,’ Pennewill said to the Daily News in June.
Myres, who was fired following her arrest, had been divorced for just nine days when she was arrested. The couple sought dissolution of the marriage in April.