Library assistant accused of sex crimes pleads to be released

ALBANY, Ore. - The 51-year-old high school library assistant accused of sex crimes against several teenage boys at the school appeared before a judge Wednesday.

Heidi Hyre is accused of sexting with three 17-year-old old boys and sexually abusing one of them in her car.

She was emotional in her court appearance and pleaded to be released.

"I don't feel comfortable here. I'm scared to death, and I probably shouldn't be," she said.

Hyre worked in the South Albany High School library. Then last fall rumors began circulating.

"As soon as we started hearing rumors we began the investigation," said Principal Brent Belveal. "We called the police in at that point and tried to be as diligent as we could be."

Recently, the rumors turned into evidence.

"There was some additional information provided by a former student that led to more explicit evidence - evidence of electronic communications that were inappropriate as well as some physical contact," said Greater Albany Public Schools Superintendent Maria Delapoer.

As Hyre sat in the Linn County Jail Wednesday, students at South Albany High School were told about the investigation.

Megan Sledge, a senior, said she was shocked by the arrest even though she had heard the rumors.

"I kind of just didn't want to believe anything so I kept everything out of my mind and just didn't think about them," she said.

Sledge said Hyre was popular with the students.

"She's so nice. She's such a fun person to be around, and she's always energetic - always has something fun to do," she said.

Belveal said he was also shocked.

"(It) kind of gives you that sick-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach kind of feeling when things like this come out," he said. "We have worked pretty closely together with Heidi. She's done a lot of work for us here and done a great job."

Police say their investigation isn't over, and they want to hear from anyone who might have more information. According to the district, a full background check was done on Hyre before she was employed.

She was put on paid leave a week and a half ago and turned herself into police Tuesday.