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Nursing assistants accused of sex with patients from psychiatric and substance abuse center

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Two nursing assistants have been accused of engaging in sexual relations with two patients from a psychiatric and substance abuse treatment center in Iowa.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the certified nursing assistants, who were identified by authorities as Paige Lynn Johanningmeier and Megan Marie Penney, developed a relationship with two patients at the Prairie View Management facility in Fayette, a small town about 70 miles north of Cedar Rapids.

Johanningmeier, 22, and Penney, 25, were arrested earlier this week on charges of sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee, according to the criminal complaints.

Representatives from Prairie View Management did not immediately respond to a request for comment but told the Des Moines Register that the two women no longer work at the treatment facility.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said deputies had been alerted Feb. 21 that two “court ordered patients” had gone missing from the facility.

An investigation revealed that the patients had been last seen with two nursing assistants, according to the statement from the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office said evidence showed that Johanningmeier, from Elgin, and Penney, from Clermont, had started a relationship with the two patients and “once they had left the facility it became sexual.”

It’s unclear whether the suspects encouraged or aided the patients in leaving the facility.

The patients were found and transported to nearby treatment facilities — one was sent to a hospital in Linn County, and the other was returned to Prairie View, according to the sheriff’s office.

Johanningmeier and Penney were arrested Tuesday on felony sexual exploitation charges. If convicted, both could face up to five years in prison and be forced to register as sex offenders, according to the statement.

They have been released on a $2,000 bond, according to online booking records.

An attorney for Johanningmeier declined to comment, and an attorney for Penney could not immediately be reached by The Washington Post.

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