A therapist working at a Ramsey County facility for troubled boys helped a teenager she was sexually involved with escape, then provided shelter for him at her home while on the run, according to charges filed Friday.
Karen A. Meyer, 30, of St. Paul, allegedly engaged in unlawful sexual relations with a 17-year-old patient from Boys Totem Town after he escaped from the corrections facility on Feb. 11. Authorities said she assisted the boy, who planned to break out with a second juvenile, by providing him with $100 and transportation.
Meyer, who was a contract employee at Boys Totem Town, was charged in Ramsey County District Court last month with one count of aiding an offender. She was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bond.
New charges, including three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, were filed against Meyer on Friday after authorities found the missing teenager in White Bear Lake.
According to the criminal complaint:
Meyer allegedly showed preferential treatment to the 17-year-old while serving as an independent health therapist at the facility, meeting with him several times a day while seeing other clients two or three times a month.
The second juvenile who fled the facility with the teen was found by police in a matter of days because of a GPS bracelet he was wearing. Authorities would not find the 17-year-old for three weeks.
Once the second juvenile was back in custody, a staff member overheard him telling others that Meyer helped with the escape. A third juvenile at Boys Totem Town told police that Meyer and the 17-year-old had an “intimate relationship” and that he had seen them kissing in her office.
“[The 17-year-old] told [the third juvenile] that when he turns 18, he and the defendant are going to get married,” according to the complaint.
On Thursday, police apprehended the 17-year-old, who admitted to having a relationship with Meyer. He told investigators that she picked him up after the escape at a Maplewood McDonald’s, then drove him to her home on University Avenue. He stayed for a week and was hiding inside when police came looking for him.
The teen admitted to having sex with Meyer while staying in her home and said they told each other “I love you,” according to the complaint. He said they never had sex at the facility, that they only flirted.
Meyer is no longer employed at Boys Totem Town. A hearing is set for March 15 on the aiding-an-offender charge.