Rheta Leanne Melvin is the 36-year-old Oregon mother accused of engaging in sexual activity with one of her daughter’s teenage classmates in the backseat of her vehicle. Melvin also suggested to deputies that she had been sexting with “other young kids.”
Officials were alerted to the alleged encounter after the boy’s mother reportedly heard about it from another parent. According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Melvin reached out to the young boy through social media and sent him sexually explicit photos of herself.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Deputies: Rheta Melvin Admitted to Sexting With the Teenage Boy But Claimed She Thought He Was At Least 17 Years Old
Rheta Leanne Melvin is accused of initiating a relationship with a 14-year-old boy who attended the same school as her daughter in Riddle, Oregon. According to a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, Melvin reached out by “messaging the juvenile and exchanging photographs of a sexual nature through a social media platform.”
Local CBS affiliate KTVL-TV, citing the probable cause statement, reported that the social media platform was Snapchat. Melvin and the teen exchanged sexual images through the app, though the teen told officers that he had deleted all of those images from his phone.
Melvin, meanwhile, admitted to investigators that she “might have requested” the explicit photos from the teen. She confessed to sending photos and videos of herself but claimed that the boy had asked her for them.
2. Melvin Is Accused of Raping the Teen Boy In Her Vehicle, a Charge She Denies
Rheta Melvin admitted to Douglas County investigators that she had sexted with the 14-year-old, and even suggested that she had engaged in similar activity with “other young kids.” But she denies the allegation that she had sexual contact with the teenager.
Deputies say that Melvin “made arrangements to meet” with the boy and that they engaged in sexual contact. According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by KTVL-TV, the boy told investigators that Melvin “lured” him into her car and that they had sex in the backseat.
Melvin countered that she had been driving the teen to see her daughter. But Melvin’s children disputed this account, telling deputies that the teenage boy had not visited the house.
3. Report: The Boy Told Police That Melvin Wanted to Meet Again But He Felt Uncomfortable
The teenage boy told Douglas County deputies that he and Rheta Melvin had a sexual encounter in early December 2019. But he said that he avoided her afterward because he felt uncomfortable. The boy claimed that Melvin reached out multiple times about meeting up a second time.
Investigators obtained DNA from the clothing that the teen was wearing on the day of the alleged encounter. Deputies also conducted a search warrant of Melvin’s house.
4. Rheta Melvin Faces Five Felony Charges Including Online Sexual Corruption of a Child & Sexual Abuse
Rheta Leanne Melvin was arrested on December 5, 2019 and booked into the Douglas County Jail. According to court records, Melvin faces the following charges:
- Online Sexual Corruption of a Child – Class B Felony
- Luring a Minor – Class C Felony
- Rape in the Third Degree – Class C Felony
- Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree – Class C Felony
- Sodomy in the Third Degree – Class C Felony
- Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor – Class A Misdemeanor
During her arraignment on December 6, Melvin’s bond was set at $50,000. She posted $5,000 and was released. Melvin was due back in court on December 13 for a status check.
5. Rheta Melvin Has Been Married to Her Husband Since at Least 2015 But They Appear to Be Getting Divorced
Rheta Leanne Melvin has been married to her current husband since at least 2015. She appears to have either deleted or suspended any social media accounts. But a post from Set Apart Photography & Design on Facebook suggests that she got married in November of 2015.
The post congratulated Melvin and her new husband on their “beautiful day.” Several friends and family members posted well-wishes to the couple. At least one person requested to see more photos, and the photographer responded that they would be shared soon.
The couple appears to have begun the process of getting divorced. Court records show that on November 26, 2019, her husband opened a case for “Dissolution.” Melvin is listed as the respondent. This would have happened before Melvin was accused of raping the teenage student.
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