Two certified nursing assistants in Utah are facing criminal charges for allegedly having sex with psychiatric patients.
According to The Courier, Prairie View Residential Care Facility nursing assistants Paige Lynn Johanningmeier, 23, and Megan Marie Penney, 26, (pictured left and right) are also accused of harboring patients when they escaped the facility and were being sought as missing persons. Fayette County sheriff’s deputies arrested the pair last Tuesday and charged them with sexual exploitation by a mental health worker.
The Des Moines Register wrote that law enforcement was made aware of the situation February 21 after the facility reported two patients missing. Four days into their investigation, police learned that the missing patients were spotted with Johanningmeier and Penny, according to a news release.
Their investigation also uncovered that the nursing assistants were engaged in a sexual relationship with the patients. According to the Register, the patients were at the Fayette facility under a court order due to their mental illnesses.
Authorities said that one of the patients returned to Prarie View after the incident while the other was transferred to another facility, The Kansas City Star reported
Johanningmeier and Penny face five years in prison and will be required to register on the sex offender registry for 10 years if convicted as charged. The pair was released from custody after each posting $2,000 bond, The Star also reported.
Prairie View Management Facility confirmed to the Register that Penney and Johanningmeier are no longer employees.
[Featured Image: Paige Lynn Johanningmeier, Megan Marie Penney/Fayette County Sheriff’s Office]