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Iowa guidance counselor accused of sex abuse of a student faces 13 more charges in the case

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WEST LIBERTY – The former West Liberty School District guidance counselor accused of sexually abusing a student faces 13 additional charges related to the investigation.

According to a press release from the West Liberty Police Department, Emily Erin Resendiz, 27, of West Liberty, was charged with nine counts of second-degree sex abuse; one count of sex abuse – continuous sexual abuse of a child; one count of lascivious conduct with a minor, one count of contempt – violation of a no-contact order; and one count of witness tampering.

Second-degree sexual abuse and continuous sex abuse of a child are Class B felonies punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Lascivious conduct with a minor is a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison. Witness tampering is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. Violating a no-contact order is a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

Her initial appearance hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. May 31.

Earlier this year she was charged with criminal trespass; violating a no-contact order; sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee; and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. A pretrial conference for those cases is scheduled for Aug. 19 and a jury trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 29.

The new witness tampering charge comes from a witness who reported seeing a boy exiting Resendiz’s house through a window. The witness also claims Resendiz handed him two personal items before the subject left the area. The boy was determined to be the victim in the earlier sex abuse and witness tampering case.

On Jan. 24, West Liberty Police received a report Resendiz allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a student. They discovered evidence that suggested Resendiz sexually abused the boy at least twice while she was a guidance counselor at the middle school. According to a booking sheet, the victim had photos on his phone of Resendiz kissing him. The new charges stem from additional instances of Resendiz allegedly sexually abusing the boy.

According to the press release, the police department reviewed evidence obtained from search warrants and other sources and more evidence had been discovered in the case. Based on the evidence, Resendiz, who had been free awaiting trial, was arrested.

The charges of violating a no-contact order and trespassing stem from a Feb. 22 incident. According to police, an eye-witness saw Resendiz at 12:25 p.m. in her vehicle at West Liberty High School, where a juvenile got into her vehicle and drove off. The juvenile was an immediate family member of a subject with a no-contact order against Resendiz.

Resendiz was previously arrested on Feb. 6 on charges of witness tampering, contempt of court and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The West Liberty Police Department is still actively seeking information on this investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police department at (319) 627-2223.

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