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Vadnais Heights woman charged with sexually assaulting teenage neighbor
A Vadnais Heights woman was charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct on June 2, accused of sexually assaulting her neighbor, a teenage boy.
According to a criminal complaint filed with Ramsey County District Court, Jenny Marie Carney, 38, allegedly had sex with her then 14-year-old neighbor. The allegation reportedly came to light when the teenager, now 15, told a counselor, who alerted authorities Jan. 30.
Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years, a $3,000 fine, or both.
Carney and the teenager’s grandmother, with whom he lives, reside in the same neighborhood, according to the criminal complaint. After spending time with Carney and her family and sometimes spending the night at her house while his grandmother was in the hospital, the two reportedly developed a close relationship.
Carney and the teenager exchanged messages via Facebook, text and email, with their discussions allegedly eventually leading to touching, kissing and mutual oral sex.
On Jan. 25 while the teenager’s grandmother was at the hospital and Carney’s husband and child were away, the two allegedly had sex at her house.
The teenager told investigators that Carney told him she loved him, and that she would contemplate leaving her husband for the teenager once he was older.
According to the criminal complaint, on Feb. 5 the teenager told his grandmother about his relationship with Carney, who responded with a hand-written note to the grandmother, in which she apologized for the “pain” which she caused for the grandmother and the teenager.
Following the note, on Feb. 7 the teenager’s grandmother reportedly called investigators and told them the teen had attempted suicide by overdosing on Tylenol, and could have died if he hadn’t been treated at a hospital.
The teenager appeared to have erased the messages he received from Carney from two phones that he used during the relationship, though investigators said they managed to find some messages Carney had sent to him.
One message dated Dec. 28, 2013 at 2:53 a.m., reportedly read: “I know u r asleep but don’t push for [your grandmother] to go anywhere and me to supervise. Remember the parent and suspicion thing I told u about last night. It will happen when it happens.”
When investigators served a search warrant at Carney’s house on Feb. 14, they reportedly asked for her cell phone, which she told them she had given to her parents. However, when they searched her pockets, they reportedly found an iPhone which had been returned to its factory setting.
During the search of Carney’s house, investigators said they found condoms in her closet, with packaging similar to condom packaging the teenager described.
Carney was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct because the alleged victim was 14 and she is more than two years older. With such a charge, an alleged victim’s consent is not a defense.
Ramsey County attorney’s office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein said the gap in time between the search warrant and charges can be attributed to investigators needing additional time in order to file charges.
Carney will appear in Ramsey County District Court on June 25.
Mike Munzenrider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7824. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.