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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A former mental health therapist and licensed independent social worker with a Cedar Rapids school who pursued a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy was sentenced Friday to more than 11 years in federal prison.
Miranda Bohlken Breeden, 46, of Monticello, pleaded guilty last year to one count of enticement of a minor.
During the plea hearing, Breeden admitted 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 of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm was dismissed Friday as part of the plea agreement.
U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams, who sentenced Breeden to 135 months in prison, called her behavior “horribly egregious” and noted that providing a deadly weapon to a child was both reckless and dangerous.
He also ordered her to serve five years of supervised release following her prison term.
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.
The investigation revealed that Breeden had sex with the 14-year-old while in hotel rooms, inside her personal vehicle and during school hours in her locked office.
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 it for the teen.
During a trip to her parent’s house in Scotch Grove in December 2019, Breeden, the 14-year-old and his friend stayed overnight and used the hot tub, smoked marijuana and discharged firearms, according to prosecutors.
The case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Liz Dupuich and Ashley Corkery and investigated by the FBI and Cedar Rapids Police Department.
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