Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include details from the arraingment and the criminal complaint.
Upper Perkiomen Police have charged a Pennridge School District guidance counselor with three felony counts of sexual assault of a student.
Kelly Ann Schutte, who worked at Pennridge South Middle School, was arraigned Friday morning and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. She was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family and must stay away from all Pennridge School District facilities.
Schutte has been on administrative leave since July, when the district was alerted to an investigation, according to a statement from Superintendent Angelo Berrios.
According to the criminal docket, Schutte is charged with three counts of Intercourse/Sexual Contact with a Student and one count of Corruption of Minors, all of which are third-degree felonies. She is also charged with three counts of Indecent Assault of a Person Less Than 16 years of Age.
Schutte is represented by Quakertown attorney William Buchanan, who declined comment on the case Friday.
The criminal complaint says the mother of the alleged victim, a 14-year-old boy, contacted police on July 18 to report that her son was in a romantic and sexual relationship with Schutte after she was called to pick him up near Schutte’s home in Pennsburg, Montgomery County.
The boy said a member of Schutte’s family caught them kissing and ordered him to leave the house, according to the complaint. The complaint says the family member confirmed the incident in a written statement.
An investigation by Upper Perk police showed numerous electronic communications between the two, including on the district’s Canvas system. According to the complaint, the contacts began in fall 2022 after a class trip. Sexual relations began in locations in Bucks and Montgomery counties in June 2023, it says. In at least one instance, court document claim, the allegations are corroborated by surveillance footage and in another alleged incident, Schutte’s earring was reportedly found in the victim’s home.
“It is of utmost importance that we acknowledge the significance of maintaining the privacy of the student and their family involved in this matter,” Berrios wrote. “While we refrain from making premature judgments about the actions of the staff member facing prosecution, it is crucial to reiterate the district's stance against any inappropriate contact between a Pennridge School District employee and a student. Such behavior will not be tolerated. We want to assure you that the district is fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office.”
Berrios said the district will provide support for both students and staff.
“We understand the impact such situations can have on our community and want to assure everyone that appropriate measures are being taken,” he wrote.