Teacher’s aide allegedly uses expensive gifts to groom 12 year old

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

Manipulating text messages, money and expensive gifts are just some of the things deputies say a former teacher’s aide sent to a 12-year-old she’s accused of sexually assaulting.

Lauren sits behind bars on a $350,000 bond.

King’s arrest report suggests she knew she was in the wrong. Going to such lengths as to ask for messages to be deleted. However, King went even further than that.

In texts to the 12-year-old, King wrote, “I don’t blame you. I blame me, I knew better.”

The affidavit says the conversations between King and the 12-year-old boy started out friendly in January. But, in an interview, the victim told the child advocacy center that King got his number by taking a photo of him and his friends and asking to send it to him.

Things got disturbing from there.

King contacted the boy on a regular basis, and when he told her he wanted a new hoodie, King requested to meet with him to give him money instead.

King pulled up to the parking lot of the boy’s grandmother’s apartment complex. She invited him into her car, and that’s when she raped him. A theme would prevail following this.

King told the victim not to tell anyone. Then, she repeatedly and adamantly asked the boy to delete messages. She sent naked photos and videos and manipulated the boy, sending him $230 through CashApp.

She even gave him an iPhone, Beats headphones and a Dell computer.

The victim also said King would have him sit behind her in a classroom and touch him inappropriately. At one point said, “See you in class. If you need to talk, sit next to me, but we keep our hands to ourselves.”

WINK News asked experts about the abuse and manipulation in the messages and the permanent impacts it may have on the victim.

“Oftentimes, predators will often groom and manipulate children. Some common tactics are usually targeting vulnerable children or offering gifts or special attention, such as what was written out in the report, or even exploiting some of those power dynamics, such as teacher versus student,” said Ariella Eanhara, a clinical assistant professor at FGCU.

“Students of that age or an individual of that age will find themselves having a difficult time trusting in the future and engaging in avoidant behaviors because they don’t know who they can talk to, who they can turn to,” said Jessica Sagastume, a Restoring Hope counselor.

The boy said his mentor that he and his teacher had sex and that he felt he had done something wrong and felt uncomfortable through the whole ordeal. And said King also sent photos of herself with another boy to try and make him jealous.

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