TISHOMINGO COUNTY, Miss. (TCD) -- A former social worker with the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services will spend eight years in prison for sex crimes against children.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Tishomingo County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mims sentenced 27-year-old Lauren Rose Cavness to 71 years in prison, with 54 of those suspended. She will reportedly serve eight years and will not be eligible for additional time suspended due to good behavior. Cavness pleaded guilty in September to sexual battery of a child under her care, possessing a sexually explicit photograph of a child, and harboring or concealing a runaway child, according to the Daily Journal.
Cavness was indicted in September 2020 following an investigation by the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Special Investigation Unit, and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Public Integrity Division. A statement from the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office at the time said she was charged with two counts of sexual battery, child exploitation, and contributing to the delinquency/neglect of a minor.
According to the Daily Journal, Cavness was 24 years old when she had a sexual relationship with two 16-year-old males in her care. An investigator with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office testified that Cavness texted one of her friends saying, "Dammit, I’m as unethical AF." Cavness also reportedly called herself an "unethical pedophile" in another text. Investigators reportedly discovered a picture of one of the teen’s genitals on her phone.
Cavness reportedly said during her hearing, "I was eager to begin my social work career and had the naive notion that any unorthodox approach that I implemented would be successful. Due to this, boundaries were frequently crossed and my judgment was severely impaired. My actions were unethical and unprofessional, to say the least."
Judge Mims told her, "You were more engaged than most social workers. But I can’t believe anyone who went through high school and college didn’t know the simple rule that you don’t get to have sexual relations with the people you are charged to serve. You broke the trust, faith, and confidence the state of Mississippi put in you as a CPS worker."