By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Warsaw woman received a suspended prison sentence for a child seduction case involving a foreign exchange student.
Stephanie Lynn Emrie, 31, 975 Logan St., Warsaw, was charged with child seduction, a level 5 felony. A possession of child pornography charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Emrie was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior Court 1 on Thursday, April 30.
On June 12, 2019, the Warsaw Police Department was notified of an inappropriate relationship between a foreign exchange student from Denmark and a member of the host family in Warsaw. At the time officers and investigators were informed, it was also realized the student was preparing to leave Indiana to ultimately leave the country. Officers located the student at a Warsaw residence as he was preparing to leave with staff members from the exchange company. Emrie was also present at that time.
The investigation revealed that sexual intercourse between the student and Emrie occurred multiple times in a short period of time. In this case, Emrie is considered a “custodian” per state statute who resided with the student and was responsible for his welfare during the time the student was in the foreign exchange program.
Ultimately, the student was returned to the care of his parents in order to prepare for a flight back to their country.
“She was in a parental position and she breached that trust,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz. “He came here to study but ended up learning something entirely different. She not only breached the victim’s trust, but his parents’ as well.”
Defense Attorney John Barrett said Emrie has been seeing a counselor since the incident occurred.
“I regret the choice I made,” said Emrie.
Judge David Cates sentenced Emrie to three years in the Indiana Department of Correction. The sentence was suspended on probation. A no-contact order between Emrie and the student is in place. Emrie is also to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.
“I’ve read your statements and letters to the court,” said Cates. “You don’t get it. You don’t get it at all. All of this is your responsibility.”