A school counselor in Texas is free on bond today after facing charges of having sex with a student, even though the boy in question is an 18-year-old high school senior who says that engaging in sex with the 32-year-old counselor was his own choice and was not the wrong thing to do.
Ellen Wermeling appeared in a Houston courtroom Friday to face charges of having an improper relationship with a student.
Because the Aldine MacArthur High School student in question, whose name has not been publicized even though he has spoken to local television, is not a minor — and the student has acknowledged willingly taking part in sex with the school counselor on three occasions — there are no allegations that the sex acts were not consensual.
Wermeling was assisting the senior in applying for college, the 18-year-old said.
According to court records, the 18-year-old told his football coach that he and the counselor had sexual intercourse and oral sex at her home. The coach then contacted police. Why the boy told his coach about the sexual encounters remains unclear.
The relationship began on February 28 when the high school student messaged Wermeling via the social media site Instagram and the two chatted online. The student told Wermeling that he was “bored” of sitting at home and had nothing to do there. Wermeling responded by offering to pick up the high school student so that he could “hang out” with her.
The “hangout” session ended up back at Wermeling’s residence where she and the student watched a movie. He then gave her a back rub after which the two had sex. They had sex again on March 6 and March 8 at her apartment, the student alleged.
The school counselor denied to police that she and the student ever had sex or in fact, that he had ever been to her home. She also claimed that she never chatted with him on Instagram — but her Instagram account was deleted on March 25, which was also the day that she was made aware of the school sex charges against her.
But the 18-year-old defended the sexual relationship with his school counselor, telling a local TV station that having sex with Wermeling was something that he wanted to do, and he was old enough to do it.
“In the heat of the moment, nothing really was wrong. At the end of the day, I’m 18 and I’m an adult, and I’m going to make my own decisions,” said the high school senior. “The only thing that was wrong was that I am a student.”
Before Wermeling’s Instagram account disappeared, authorities grabbed screen shots that they say were evidence of the student’s visits with the school counselor at her apartment and a local bar, and of the fact that he slept overnight at her home, leading investigators to believe the two likely had sex there.