Counselor accused of grooming 14-year-old allegedly communicated with him on school’s own app


Kelly Ann Schutte appears in a booking photo. (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

A middle school counselor in Pennsylvania allegedly groomed a 14-year-old boy beginning in 2022 and engaged in a sexual relationship with him through this past summer, according to authorities.

Kelly Ann Schutte, 35, stands accused of three counts of institutional sexual assault/school – intercourse or sexual contact with a student, three counts of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old, as well as one count of corruption of minors, according to Montgomery County court records reviewed by Law&Crime.

The Pennridge South Middle School counselor was arrested on Thursday. She had been on administrative leave for months prior.

Word of the alleged illicit relationship first got out on July 17, when the boy called his parents asking for a ride from Schutte’s residence, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Philadelphia-based NBC affiliate WCAU. The boy’s parents obliged and found him hiding behind a parked vehicle, according to law enforcement. As for an explanation, the boy allegedly said he was kissing Schutte in her home when one of the educator’s family members caught them and then demanded the child leave the premises, the complaint says.

The boy’s mother then called the police and said her son was in a romantic and sexual relationship with the defendant, authorities said.

On July 19, the boy allegedly admitted to investigators of a relationship with Schutte that began during the fall semester of 2022 when the two sat together on a bus during a field trip. After that, the child allegedly told police the counselor regularly called him to her office that year – sometimes causing him to miss class. Eventually, the boy allegedly said, he and Schutte engaged in sexual activity in both Bucks and Montgomery counties.

According to CBS News, one such sexual act occurred inside the counselor’s car near her home in Montgomery County on the same day the boy later called his parents. Another time, in June, when the boy’s parents and sister were out of town, Schutte allegedly engaged in a sexual act with the boy at his home in Bucks County.

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Investigators allege Schutte and the child initially used the school district’s messaging app Canvas to communicate during the school year. And, when summer came, the counselor and the student allegedly moved their messaging to Snapchat.

A search of the boy’s cellphone turned up messages between him and the counselor and pictures of the pair together at her home in Pennsburg, according to the complaint. The messages sent on Canvas were also recovered, along with handwritten notes, that confirmed what the boy told investigators, according to police.

Police also said surveillance footage shored up their case against Schutte – and that she left one of her earrings at the boy’s home in June, according to court documents obtained by the Reading Eagle.

The defendant was arraigned on Friday, court records show. A preliminary hearing in her case is set for Nov. 10. Schutte was released on $25,000 unsecured bail under conditions that mandate she stay away from all Pennridge School District property and have no contact with the alleged victim.

In a statement, the district acknowledged the defendant has been on leave since July — when the investigation began.

“We must acknowledge the significance of maintaining the privacy of the student and their family involved in this matter,” Pennridge Superintendent Angelo Berrios said in a statement released to multiple local media outlets on Friday. “While we refrain from making premature judgments about the actions of the staff member facing prosecution, it is crucial to reiterate the district’s stance against any inappropriate contact between a Pennridge School District employee and a student. Such behavior will NOT be tolerated.”

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