Ex-school worker in relationship with 15-year-old student plotted to kill husband

FILE: A photo provided by the Virginia Beach police department shows Patience Perez. (AP)
FILE: A photo provided by the Virginia Beach police department shows Patience Perez. (AP)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – A former security assistant at a Virginia school conspired with a 15-year-old student with whom she had a sexual relationship to kill her husband, police said Thursday.

Patience Justine Perez, 22, was charged in Norfolk on Tuesday in connection with the murder scheme.

Perez also faces multiple charges of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship, and a charge of using a communications system to facilitate certain crimes against children.

It wasn't immediately clear Thursday whether Perez, who worked at Renaissance Academy in Virginia Beach and lives in Norfolk, had an attorney. Perez, 22, is being held in the Norfolk City Jail without bond, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 10.

Norfolk police spokeswoman Karen Parker-Chesson said Perez and the boy engaged in at least one conversation to plan to kill Perez's husband. Parker-Chesson said detectives are continuing to investigate the case and that the boy does not currently face charges.

Norfolk police and the Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney's Office declined to provide further details.

Court records don't specify anything beyond the plot's target: Perez's husband, who was not identified by name in the documents. Perez's home address is in a community near Naval Station Norfolk reserved for active-duty military personnel.

Renaissance Academy, where Perez worked and the boy attended, is an alternative public school for students in middle and high school grades. It offers behavioral, academic and credit recovery programs, according to school division spokeswoman Kathleen O'Hara. Perez had worked at the school on a temporary basis since Aug. 22 and was fired March 5, O'Hara said. Virginia Beach police said that on March 4, school authorities notified them and child protective services that Perez had "inappropriate contact" with the boy.

Virginia Beach police have said a consensual, sexual relationship between Perez and the boy took place away from Renaissance Academy.

Virginia Beach police said the incidents took place sometime between February and March, while Norfolk court records list each of the offense dates in that city as Feb. 1.

Parker-Chesson said Perez took the boy to her home on multiple occasions in February, and that's where the sexual abuse occurred. She also said Perez and the boy used mobile phones to exchange pornographic images.

Court documents say Perez has lived in the community for nine years.