DeSoto County woman charged with sexually assaulting 14-year-old boy

According to the Urban Dictionary, an older woman on the hunt for a younger man is called a "cougar."

But when that man is actually a young boy, it becomes a crime.

Johnny Smith is like a lot of men. They think having sex with an older woman is a right of passage.

"I mean I did it when I was a kid--40 year-olds, whatever--I thought it was great," he said.

Police call it a crime.

And one DeSoto County woman is charged with committing it.

39-year-old Melissa Mitchell is accused of having sex with a 14 year-old boy.

That's a 25 year age difference.

"We take these offenses extremely seriously (whether you are a man or woman?) man or woman--it doesn't matter," said DeSoto County Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Owensby.

Mitchell's alleged victim is an 8th grader.

The victim's family tells me the incident happened during a party at Mitchell's house near Hernando.

You can still see where neighbors say a big bonfire was lit outside.

They say the party was packed with teenagers. "I never would have, never would have thought," said neighbor Charles Free, who describes Mitchell and her family as very nice people.

"It's a big shock."

I wanted to know what Mitchell had to say, but no one answered the door.

DeSoto County Sheriff's Officials believe Mitchell knew exactly how old the boy was.

She has at least one child who is the same age.

"You know, you just don't know what goes through people's heads sometimes--that's unfortunate," said Owensby.

Unfortunately for Melissa Mitchell, she faces prison time if found guilty of sexual battery.

Investigators say her alleged victim may be scarred for life.

They also say Mitchell should have been pretty familiar with the law she's accused of breaking.

She works as a court reporter.

Tonight, Mitchell is out on a $10,000 bond.

Click here to send Jason Miles an email.