School Employee Accused of Sexually Assaulting Boy, 11, Giving Bracelet Saying 'Best Friends for Life with Benefits'

Alyson Cranick, 42, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and three counts of risk of injury to a child and impairing the morals of children

<p>Connecticut State Police</p> Alyson Cranick

Connecticut State Police

Alyson Cranick

A former Connecticut school employee was arrested after authorities allege she repeatedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy last summer.

Alyson Cranick, 42, turned herself into police Tuesday and was charged with two counts of sexual assault and three counts of risk of injury to a child and impairing the morals of children, according to an arrest warrant reviewed by PEOPLE.

A relative of the victim reported the allegations to Connecticut State Police in September after the boy told them he had "been in a sexual relationship" with Cranick during July and August 2022, the warrant states.

During an interview with state police, the victim said the two had been communicating on iMessage and Snapchat before eventually moving to Discord, after Cranick learned his other accounts were being monitored.

According to the warrant, the boy “snuck out of his house on at least 14 occasions during the overnight hours to meet with Cranick.” She either waited by “hiding behind a bush on a neighbor’s property or walking up to his house,” the warrant states, adding that Cranick would also park her car outside the boy’s home.

The two reportedly had “sexual intercourse” in the car as well as other locations, the identities of which were censored in the warrant.

Police said the hundreds of messages between the two were “often flirtatious and sexual in nature.” At one point during those conversations, Cranick allegedly sent the boy a picture of a bracelet she had made for him with the acronym “BFFLWB,” meaning, “Best Friends for Life With Benefits,” according to the warrant.

The warrant further states that Cranick “emotionally manipulated [the boy] into spending more time with her,” but he eventually refused and stopped communicating with her.

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During an interview with police, Cranick denied initiating any sexual contact with the boy and "downplayed any inappropriate reasoning for communicating with [the boy],” according to the warrant. She also claimed she “was trying to comfort him because he was scared” about family issues.

When asked about the alleged sexual nature of the messages, Cranick said she was a “really nice person” and did not mean for them to come across that way, the warrant states.

Officials told CT Insider that Cranick’s employment as an administrative assistant for the Regional 19 school district "ceased" after an investigation by the state Department of Children and Families.

In a statement to parents issued Tuesday and obtained by local NBC station WVIT, Columbia Public Schools confirmed a former school employee had been arrested on similar charges and called the allegations disturbing.

“Clearly, any allegation of inappropriate contact with minors is disturbing and causes concerns about the safety of the children in our school community,” the statement reads. “Columbia community members should be reassured that the safety of children is the district’s foremost concern."

Cranick was being held on a $500,000 bond, the arrest warrant states. It’s unclear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on her behalf.

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