A Bettendorf counselor accused of engaging in unwanted kissing and touching of an adult female client has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.
The Iowa Code to which Aracely Schutters pleaded guilty reduces the charge from a Class D felony to an aggravated misdemeanor.
An aggravated misdemeanor carries a possible prison sentence of up to two years or a term on probation.
Schutters, 45, entered her guilty plea Tuesday in Scott County District Court through her attorney, Catherine Cartee of Davenport. An arraignment hearing was to be held Thursday.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 23 in Scott County District Court.
According to the plea agreement, Schutters will pay a fine of $625 plus all applicable surcharges and court costs and spend two years on supervised probation.
Schutters was arrested Jan. 22 by Bettendorf police.
According to an arrest affidavit filed by Bettendorf police, Schutters on Dec. 4 invited her client to her home via text messages to talk about the client’s problems.
She had been employed as the client's therapist for about a year and a half, according to the affidavit.
The client had never previously met with Schutters outside of her office, according to the affidavit.
The client got into Schutters' hot tub with the intent of discussing issues the client had been dealing with earlier that day, according to the affidavit.
Schutters persistently tried to get the patient to drink several alcoholic drinks and engaged in unwanted kissing and touching, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Schutters said something to the effect of “this is so wrong, I can’t be your counselor anymore.”
The client got out of the hot tub and left Schutters' home. Schutters later apologized through text messages and a phone call, according to the affidavit.
In an interview with police, Schutters admitted that she kissed the client in the hot tub, according to the affidavit.
Schutters remains free on bond.