Grand Junction, CO – Wendy Crowell has been arrested and charged with sexually seducing and engaging in sex with an underage friend of her son during a sleepover.
The unidentified minor’s mother reported the discovery of unsuitable messages from Crowell on her teenage son’s phone to police in June 2012. She suspected more had exchanged between the two and confronted her son about the relationship. The teen exposed the sexual nature of the relationship to his mother.
Crowell and the teen frequently spent time together, as the mother of the victim would leave her son in Crowell’s care when job hunting or doing errands. Additionally Crowell would take both teens on trips together, like rafting.
Crowell was questioned by officials regarding the roughly 20 messages of an inappropriate “flirtatious” nature sent to the teen. During questioning Crowell admitted to exchanging innocent texts with all of her son’s friends.
According to the arrest affidavit, the relationship became sexual on the night of a sleepover in Crowell’s home sometime in May, and proceeded to June. The unnamed boy claims they had engaged in sex multiple times, twice in Crowell’s parked car over a three week period.
While acknowledging Crowell likely took advantage given the age disparity, the teen does not feel he was forced and regards the sex was consensual. He noted an expressed mutual love between the two. Regardless, Colorado state law prohibits sex with a minor.
The age of consent in Colorado is 17, with exceptions for minors less than 17 under certain circumstances. A person commits the crime of sexual assault if he or she is 10 years older than a minor who is 15 or 16-years-old. A person convicted of this crime is guilty of a class one misdemeanor sexual assault. Sexual assault is considered an “extraordinary risk crime,” which allows for a more severe sentence. The enhanced sentence for this extraordinary risk crime ranges from six to 24 months in jail or a fine of $500 to $5,000 or both.
The 36-year-old is facing seven criminal charged related to sex with a minor believed to be around 15-years-old, six classified as felonies. On one occasion she allegedly told the boy to “pretend to be 18 for the night.”
Crowell was taken into custody on March 1 after DNA tests were performed, and booked into the Mesa County Jail. Bond was set at $10,000 and she is next due in court March 14.
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