Hickeys led to sex allegations against aide, report details

Sarah Elizabeth Drown, 20, was arrested Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor. Original story »
Sarah Elizabeth Drown, 20, was arrested Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor. Original story »

In late January, a teacher at Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel spotted an after-school aide walking home with an eighth-grade student.

Later, the teacher saw what appeared to be hickey marks on the boy’s neck.

Worried, the teacher shared the information with another employee, who brought her concerns to the district superintendent, according to a county Sheriff’s Office incident report filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

The report provides more information about what led sheriff’s deputies to arrest the aide/tutor, 20-year-old Sarah Drown, on Jan. 27 on suspicion of unlawful sex with a minor. She pleaded not guilty on Feb. 1 to four counts of statutory rape; a preliminary hearing has been moved to Feb. 29 to determine whether there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial.

Drown’s attorney, Christine Cummings, could not be reached for comment.

The student got to know Drown in October while helping out at an after-school program, according to the report.

During an interview with sheriff’s Deputy Gower Slane, the student said he received two hickeys on his neck from an ex-girlfriend but later acknowledged that Drown had given them to him.

He then told the deputy that he and Drown had consensual sex several times starting in October. At the time, he was 14 years old.

When Slane advised the student that it’s inappropriate for a 20-year-old to have sex with someone under the age of 18, he replied: “The heart wants what the heart wants,” according to the report.

After his interview with the student, Slane met with Drown, who told him her dealings with the student were minimal “due to her feeling that he had a crush on her,” according to the report.

Later, after a break, Slane told Drown about a statement the student had made about their relationship, and she admitted kissing the teen and giving him hickeys, the report said. The deputy then asked Drown whether she and the student had sex, and she “began to cry and stated yes, that it had only happened once” during Christmas break, according to the report.

Drown said she was feeling very depressed when she received a call from the teen. They took a walk, talked about why she was upset and later returned to her home to watch a movie, during which they had sex, the report details.

Drown “repeatedly stated that it only happened once at her house and she has regretted the decision she made ever since,” according to the report.

Drown was in her first year of employment with the district. She was placed on administrative leave, directed to stay away from any school grounds and told to not have any contact with students, parents or staff.