Two nursing assistants from an Iowa psychiatric facility are accused of having relationships with their patients, authorities announced Wednesday.
KCRG-TV reports Megan Marie Penney, 26, of Clermont, and Paige Lynn Johanningmeier, 23, of Elgin, were arrested following an investigation that began when two patients walked away from Prairie View Management Facility.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office says they were notified on Feb. 21 that two court-ordered patients walked away from the facility.
Four days later, the sheriff’s office learned the two had been seen with two certified nursing assistants licensed by the state.
Investigators say Penney and Johanningmeier had developed a relationship with the two patients at the facility. According to the Des Moines Register, court documents indicate the two left the facility with the patients and had sexual relations with them while harboring them.
Penney and Johanningmeier with both arrested Tuesday and charged with sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee.
The pair faces up to five years in prison and would be required to register as sex offenders for 10 years if convicted.
One patient was taken to a Linn County hospital and the other was returned to Prairie View.
The facility “provides support and skill building services to adults with functional limitations caused by chronic mental illness, intellectual disability, or medical conditions.”
Prairie View Management Facility told the Des Moines Register Penney and Johanningmeier are not current employees.