Teacher Charged

Therapist arrested for sex with teen student at autism center

A behavioral therapist at a Missouri autism treatment center was busted for having sex with a 17-year-old student in a local park, according to authorities.

Victoria West, of Joplin, was charged Friday with two felony counts of sexual contact with a student stemming from the November incidents — when she was employed at the Leffen Center for Autism, Joplin police said in a news release.

The illicit encounters allegedly took place on “multiple occasions” at the city’s Schifferdecker Park, the Joplin Globe reported.

Authorities opened an investigation into West on Dec. 4 after getting tipped off to the teacher’s alleged behavior.

West is being held under house arrest with an ankle monitor and is prohibited from having contact with anyone under 18, police said.

The age of consent in Missouri is 17, but adults in a position of power over 17- or 18-year-olds can still be charged with sexual offenses against them.

With Post wires

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