A judge Friday sentenced a former employee at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney to four years of probation plus a month in jail for sexually abusing a teenager there.

Samantha Halstead, 29, of Pleasanton, also will have to register as a sex offender as a result of her conviction for second-degree sexual abuse of a protected individual.

She pleaded no contest in July.

Buffalo County District Judge John Marsh set her to report to jail Sept. 8.

A year ago, Halstead, who then was working as a licensed provisional mental health practitioner, became the focus of an investigation for inappropriate contact with a teenager at the facility.

According to a press release, the facility administrator became aware of evidence regarding the activity and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services immediately notified the Nebraska State Patrol.

Halstead was suspended without pay and resigned a day later.


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