CEDAR RAPIDS — A former Cedar Rapids school counselor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old student and attempting to buy him a gun.
Miranda Bohlken Breeden, 45, of Monticello, was indicted last week in U.S. District Court with one count each of enticement of a minor and making a false statements during the purchase of a firearm. She remains in jail pending trial set for Nov. 16.
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.
Earlier this month, district officials 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, 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 showed 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 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 provided him with her phone number and later they had sex in Breeden’s office at school, hotel rooms and Breeden’s parents’ house in Monticello.
O’Brien, during the detention hearing, said a review of data from the boy’s ankle monitor, issued in a juvenile court case, confirmed he had been at the Monticello home Dec. 28. Breeden’s parents were not home, and she was shooting guns from the deck and was in a hot tub with the juveniles. O’Brien said Breeden had sex with the 14-year-old in the house that night.
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.
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.
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