Education

Former Cedar Rapids school therapist accused of having sex with 14-year-old

Mother found text messages between therapist and boy

Miranda Breeden
Miranda Breeden

CEDAR RAPIDS — A former Cedar Rapids schools therapist was charged Tuesday in federal court for having sex with a 14-year-old student at Polk Alternative Education Center and attempting to buy a gun for the boy.

Miranda Bohlken Breeden, 45, of Monticello, appeared in U.S. District Court Tuesday and was charged with enticement of a minor and making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, according to a criminal complaint.

Breeden worked for the district from Aug. 12, 2019, through Jan. 22 of this year. She was placed on leave after school officials became aware of the allegations, according to a statement Tuesday by the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Before being hired, she “successfully passed pre-employment background checks” required by law, the statement said.

School officials said an internal investigation was initiated and Breeden had no contact with students in a school environment after Jan. 22. Breeden’s employment was terminated July 30.

“As part of the district’s investigation and consistent with state law requirements, the district determined it needed to contact law enforcement and promptly reached out to the Cedar Rapids Police Department,” according to the statement.

“As always, the safety and security of students is our top priority. The district will continue to cooperate with local and federal law enforcement officers related to this matter.”

A complaint affidavit shows 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 a therapist.

Her other son also said his brother had sex with his therapist.

Investigators discovered Breeden’s identity after the mother took screenshots of the text messages and gave them to police.

The school district confirmed Breeden was the counselor for the 14-year-old during the time she was employed.

The brother of the 14-year-old, during an interview at Unity Point Health-St. Luke’s Child Protection Center in Hiawatha, admitted his brother was having sex with Breeden and he had seen photos of them smoking marijuana, and had seen his brother with a Smith and Wesson gun that Breeden gave his brother, according to the affidavit.

The brother also said Breeden had taken him and two other male juveniles to a hotel in Cedar Rapids. He didn’t know the date but investigators found a surveillance video of the three juveniles with Breeden Jan. 18, at the AmericInn in Cedar Rapids.

Investigators also had a hotel receipt, showing Breeden paid for one room at the hotel.

There also was surveillance of Breeden that night at Walmart, buying liquor and another item.

The 14-year-old, during his interview at the center, said there was “no flirting” between him and Breeden at first but eventually she provided him with her phone number. Later they had sex in Breeden’s office at school, hotel rooms and Breeden’s parents’ house in Monticello.

Investigators confirmed the boy had been at the Monticello home on Dec. 28, 2019, by reviewing location records of his ankle monitor, which was required by Juvenile Court, according to court records.

The student and Breeden mostly communicated by text messages and used an app for free text and calling, which were reviewed by investigators.

The affidavit provided samples of those text messages, which included the 14-old telling Breeden he needed a gun and money because someone was “looking” for him. In another text, they discuss Breeden buying bullets and a firearm suppressor.

Investigators obtained surveillance video from Theisen’s in Cedar Rapids and a firearms form signed by Breeden to purchase a gun. On the form, she falsely said the gun was for herself.

Investigators also found multiple messages through Facebook between Breeden and the boy in February.

If convicted, Breeden faces a minimum of 10 years and possibly up to life on the enticement charge and up to 10 years in prison on the gun charge.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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