By Shawn McGrath, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer | Posted May 7, 2009
ANDERSON — An Anderson woman has been charged with four felony counts of child seduction for allegedly having sex with a foreign exchange student she was hosting in her family’s home.
Madison County sheriff’s deputies arrested Tricia D. Mallernee, 32, at the jail at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. She posted $500 bond and was released about 30 minutes later.
According to court documents, Mallernee began having sex with the 17-year-old male foreign exchange student about two weeks after his arrival in early July 2008.
The sexual relationship continued through April. Mallernee and the teen had sex in her home and while on a spring vacation in Florida. On one occasion in April, Mallernee had the boy dismissed from school early and the pair had sex at Mounds State Park, according to court documents.
The teen told investigators he initially wanted to be in the relationship. But later he tried to end it, fearing Mallernee was becoming “emotionally attached and he did not feel the same way.”
Mallernee allegedly threatened to have the boy removed from the home if he ended the relationship, law enforcement officials said. He told investigators that he was afraid that moving to a new home would mean having to stop participating in school activities, according to court documents. He continued in the relationship.
Although 17 is old enough to consent to a sexual relationship, because Mallernee was the teen’s host mother, she was considered his legal custodian, making their relationship child seduction under Indiana law.
Mallernee is married, but her husband was very ill during most of her relationship with the teen. The man, who is not named in the court documents, was hospitalized several times, “making Tricia’s activities with (the teen) possible without easy detection,” the court documents state.
The Herald Bulletin doesn’t general identify those suspected of being sex crime victims. ….