Ex-school therapist gets 11+ years for sexual relationship with Cedar Rapids 14-year-old

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A former east Iowa school therapist will spend more than a decade in prison after having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student and buying him a gun.

Miranda Breeden, 46, of Monticello was sentenced Friday to 11 years and three months in federal prison after pleading guilty to pursuing a romantic relationship with the underage boy in 2019 and 2020. Breeden at the time was a mental health therapist at the Cedar Rapids Community School District's Polk Alternative Education Center, where she had a therapist-patient relationship with the student, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

She was sentenced by Judge C.J. Williams, who called her conduct "horribly egregious," the release said.

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Many court records about the case have been sealed due to the involvement of the minor victim. According to the original complaint, filed in August 2020, the teen's mother approached the school the previous January, concerned Breeden was having a sexual relationship with him. She found on his phone inappropriate text messages with Breeden that she turned over to police.

Further investigation found that Breeden had sexual encounters with him in her office, in her car, in hotels and at her relatives' homes. Another youth, who according to court filings has since died, also told police he had sex with Breeden, and said he'd seen Breeden taking drugs and inappropriately touching the other teen.

Investigators confirmed with video and GPS records that Breeden had rented hotel rooms for the teen and had traveled with him as far away as Bettendorf. Text messages show her calling him "babe," saying "I love you" and making reference to having sex.

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Those text records also showed the teen asking Breeden for a gun, saying "they shot at me again" and that he needed a weapon or money. The two discussed different types of firearms and Breeden then purchased a 9 mm handgun, claiming on federal documents that she was buying the gun for herself. It is not clear from the complaint if the gun was recovered or was ever used in any shootings.

Court records show Breeden was charged with enticement of a minor and making false statements while purchasing a firearm, and in July 2021 pleaded guilty to the enticement charge.

The documents don't say how long Breeden worked for the school district and when and how her employment ended. District and alternative education center officials did not respond to messages Tuesday.

Breeden's attorney also did not return a message seeking comment.

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William Morris covers courts for the Des Moines Register. He can be contacted at wrmorris2@registermedia.com, 715-573-8166 or on Twitter at @DMRMorris.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Ex-Cedar Rapids school therapist sentenced for sex with 14-year-old