Crime

Months after lawsuit and dismissal, Kuna school employee charged with child enticement

Students stream into Kuna Middle School. The town’s growth is part of the reason the school district sought a bond in March for building expansion.
Students stream into Kuna Middle School. The town’s growth is part of the reason the school district sought a bond in March for building expansion. kjones@idahostatesman.com

A former Kuna Middle School office manager faces two misdemeanors months after she was accused of inappropriate contact with a minor, prompting her dismissal from the school district and a lawsuit from the alleged victim’s family.

Melissa Whiteley, 34, faces one misdemeanor charge of disseminating material harmful to a minor and another misdemeanor charge of enticing a child.

Melissa-Whiteley
Melissa Whiteley Kuna School District

According to a criminal complaint, Whiteley provided a 14-year-old boy with “a picture of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity and/or sexual conduct, by words or actions, or both.” The nature and subject of the photos wasn’t immediately clear, though the boy’s mother claimed in a lawsuit against the Kuna School District that Whiteley began texting her child, “including nude photos,” in 2017 when the teenager entered high school.

The criminal complaint also alleges that Whiteley persuaded the boy “to enter a vehicle or building with the intent that the child be concealed from public view.” Both charges were filed March 22, though the crimes allegedly occurred between Oct. 1 and Nov. 10 in 2017.

Whiteley pleaded not guilty to both charges. Her next court appearance is scheduled for June 5. If convicted, she could face up to one year in prison.

Whiteley was dismissed from the school in mid-November, and the alleged victim’s family filed its suit on Jan. 5. The suit accuses Whiteley of “grooming” the boy since 2015, when the student would loiter at her desk and the two would “share intimate, whispered conversations with occasional physical contact.”

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