A teacher's aide working in the Mesquite Independent School District in Texas has admitted to authorities that she had repeated sexual encounters with an 11-year-old boy.
Jessica Jewel Corin Benton was arrested Sept. 1 by police, media reports said.
Officers revealed that the assaults did not take place on school property but at a private home.
Benton was living with a family after breaking up with her husband. The alleged victim was a family friend who was frequently at the house for sleepovers.
The alarm was raised when one of the children in the home became concerned about behavior they witnessed between Benton and the victim.
“We were first notified by an adult whose child had observed some behavior that they didn't think was quite right,” Mesquite Police Lieutenant Brian Parrish told KDFW. “When the child went to the mother, the mother agreed it didn't seem right and brought it to our attention.”
Benton reportedly told authorities she hoped to have a long-term relationship with the boy. Rumors circulated that she was pregnant with his child, but a pregnancy test produced a negative result, according to police.
Police added that there is no evidence to suggest other victims were involved.
The arrest warrant stated that Benton had sexual encounters with the boy at least 10 times from mid-May 2016 to Aug. 31, 2016, WFAA reported.
Benton has been placed on leave from her post, pending the investigation's outcome.
"Student safety is our highest priority, so this is very upsetting and disappointing news for everyone in our district," a school district statement began, according to KDFW. "Such behavior by an educator is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in MISD. The alleged actions of this individual should not diminish the work of the thousands of outstanding professionals we are fortunate to employ."
Benton was initially charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, but this was subsequently upgraded to continuous sexual assault of a child. Reports conflicted as to whether her bond had been set at $100,000 or $150,000.