116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A former Cedar Rapids school counselor was convicted Tuesday in federal court on a charge of enticing a 14-year-old student to have sex with her.
Miranda Bohlken Breeden, 46, of Monticello, pleaded guilty to one count of enticement of a minor.
During the plea hearing, Breeden admitted that she used a cellphone to entice the 14-year-old boy to engage in an illegal sex act between November 2019 and January 2020. She also admitted that based on the sex act she would have been charged with third-degree sexual abuse in state court.
The other charge she was indicted on, making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, will be dismissed at sentencing as part of the plea agreement.
According to court documents, Breeden was placed on leave from Polk Alternative Education Center when Cedar Rapids Community School District officials found out about the criminal investigation.
District officials last September confirmed she was placed on leave Jan. 22 and terminated July 31. She had been employed by the district since Aug. 12, 2019.
During a detention hearing last year, Cedar Rapids police Officer John O'Brien testified the student's mother initially told a school resource officer of her concerns about the sexual relationship. The mother then found inappropriate text messages between her son and the counselor.
The school district confirmed to investigators that Breeden was the counselor for the 14-year-old during the time she was employed.
O'Brien said police had statements from the brother of the 14-year-old, during an interview at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Child Protection Center in Hiawatha, saying the 14-year-old was having sex with Breeden. Police also have photos, surveillance videos, credit card receipts and other witness statements to corroborate what the two juveniles told them about Breeden.
The complaint affidavit also stated the brother said Breeden had taken him and two other male juveniles to a hotel in Cedar Rapids. Investigators found a surveillance video of the three juveniles with Breeden on Jan. 18 at the AmericInn in Cedar Rapids.
Investigators also have a hotel receipt showing that Breeden paid for one room at the hotel.
There also is surveillance of Breeden that night at Walmart, buying liquor and condoms.
The 14-year-old, during his interview at the center, said Breeden gave him with phone number and later they had sex in Breeden's office at school, in hotel rooms and at Breeden's parents' house in Monticello.
The student and Breeden mostly communicated by text messages and through social media, which investigators reviewed.
Investigators obtained surveillance video from a Theisen's store in Cedar Rapids and a firearms form signed by Breeden to buy a gun. On the form, she falsely said the gun was for herself. She had purchased for the teen.
U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams will set sentencing after a presentencing report is prepared. Breeden faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and could face a maximum of up to life. She also will be ordered to serve up to five years of supervised release following her prison term.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Dupuich and Ashley Corkery, and was investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI’s Safe Streets Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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