A Limestone County woman and NASA employee charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy allegedly offered him “financial incentives” to keep him quiet, an official said Friday.
The boy eventually told his father, who notified authorities, and an investigation ensued, one official said.
Susan Loraine Whitfield, 49, of 15405 Pepper Road, Harvest, was charged Wednesday with five counts of second-degree rape and one count of bribing a witness, records show. During an investigation that lasted a couple of months, Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said his investigators used telephone and text records and witness statements to build their case, then turned the results over to the Limestone District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Brian Jones said his office recently presented the case to a grand jury, which found adequate evidence to indict Whitfield on the charges. She was arrested Wednesday on a warrant resulting from that indictment. She was released from the Limestone County Jail after posting bail of $80,000.
Jones said Whitfield knew the alleged victim from the neighborhood.
“She was buying him stuff to keep him from coming forward and — once it was apparent that we were looking at the case — financial incentives not to tell authorities,” Jones said.
The district attorney said it was his understanding Whitfield is currently employed by NASA.