We spoke with Dr. Rick Ellis, a Virginia Beach psychologist, about 22-year-old Patience Perez. He's also a registered expert in evaluating sex offenders.
"There’s usually some type of substance abuse going on,” Dr. Ellis says. “There are family issues, relationship issues and they see this as an outlet for control, for power.”
Perez worked security and met the boy at the Renaissance Academy, an alternative education program in Virginia Beach.
Dr. Ellis says the boy was already in a very vulnerable state.
"He needs the most encouragement, the most support, the most help in these types of situations and he got the opposite from that individual."
Beach police arrested her last week on sex crimes charges.
Dr. Ellis says society's perception of an older woman sleeping with a younger boy is inaccurate.
"It can be as damaging, if not more damaging to a boy when these types of power differences occur in relationships, he says. “The power, control, and trust issues are all extremely negative towards the boy and [his] experience in their future in getting along with a female and knowing how to be an equal with a female in a relationship.”
Cops also say Perez and the boy were sexting, exchanging pornographic images over their cell phones. All of this while scheming to murder her husband.
If these allegations are true, Dr. Ellis says the consequences could be dire.
"He was taken advantage of, he was used, and he was solicited to, and possibly could have spent the rest of his life in prison if this lady would have had her way with him,” Dr. Ellis says.