Female Employee At Home For Troubled Boys Charged With Rape

Published: Jun. 29, 2005 at 7:18 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 8, 2005 at 9:50 PM EST
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By Janelle MacDonald

(ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky.) -- A former employee of an Elizabethtown home for troubled boys has been indicted on charges that she raped one of the boys from the home. The alleged sexual relationship started three years ago and was discovered by the boy's father earlier this year. WAVE 3's Janelle MacDonald investigates.

The boy, now 15, claims the sexual relationship began at the Spectrum Care Academy, a Hardin County home for boys with emotional problems.

Program Director Gina Pawley says the two were never alone and they had no indication that the two were sexually involved. "Spectrum Care Academy would hate to hear of anything going on that would be inappropriate."

A Nelson County grand jury has indicted 36-year-old Shannon Yager, a former employee at Spectrum, with rape and sodomy. The alleged victim was a resident at Spectrum.

According to a Nelson County sheriff's report, the boy's father says he became aware of the alleged relationship early this year when his son bragged about having sex with Yager, and he taped explicit phone calls between the two.

The report also says the boy later told investigators that "his first sexual incident with Mrs. Yager happened at Spectrum Care Academy in late 2003" when he was just 14.

The report indicates the teen says "he had sex with Mrs. Yager six times while she was on the night shift."

Pawley questions those allegations, saying Yager did not work the night shift until March of 2004 and "our staff are not permitted to be alone with any of our clients."

Yager left Spectrum in May of 2004 under good terms.

The boy was discharged that same month.

He told detectives the relationship continued at Yager's home in Nelson County, where he says he had sex with her about 12 more times.

But in the phone conversation, the report says "Mrs. Yager also said she loves (the boy) and that it's not just about sex for her."

The 15-year-old boy told detectives "that he loves her and has deep feelings for her," according to the report.

Pawley admits such a relationship -- if it occurred -- would be inappropriate. "Our facility is dedicated toward helping children with mental health issues, and of course we would not condone any activities that would contribute to any mental health issues for those children."

Pawley says Yager carried out her duties well while she was at Spectrum.

Yager now faces 12 counts of third degree rape in Nelson County, among other charges.

Detectives in Hardin County are still investigating and more charges could follow there, stemming from the allegations inside Spectrum.

WAVE 3 caught up with Yager and briefly spoke with her outside her home on Wednesday. She denied the charges, and declined to say more until she had talked with her attorney.

Online Reporter: Janelle MacDonald

Online Producer: Michael Dever