An Eau Claire Academy employee is accused of helping two girls run away from the academy to Superior.

Ashlynn E. Alsteen drove the girls to Superior after calling into work sick, authorities said.

Alsteen, 20, 601 S. Dewey St., was charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with two felony counts of interfering with custody beyond visitation.

Alsteen is free on a $5,000 signature bond, which prohibits her from having contact with the two girls.

Alsteen returns to court May 29.

According to the criminal complaint:

Eau Claire police were informed by the Superior Police Department on April 3 that they had two juvenile runaways from Eau Claire County, ages 15 and 13, in custody.

A Douglas County criminal case manager interviewed both girls about how they got to Superior and they said Alsteen, an Eau Claire Academy employee, assisted them in running away and getting to Superior.

The Eau Claire Academy is a facility that provides therapeutic treatment for children ages 10 to 17 with emotional and psychiatric disorders, educational difficulties or behavioral disturbances.

On March 30, Alsteen planned with both girls how they should run away from the academy.

Alsteen brought a bag to work that day and packed the girls’ belongings from their room and took them out to her car at the end of her shift.

Alsteen provided the girls with directions to her house.

The girls took an Uber ride to Alsteen’s residence.

Alsteen allowed the girls to stay at her residence for the night and took them to Superior the next day, where she dropped them off at the residence of the boyfriend of one of the girls.

One of the girls said Alsteen allowed her to use her phone to contact her mother in violation of a no-contact order.

The father of that girl told police Alsteen did not have permission to house or transport the girls, or facilitate contact with his daughter’s mother.

The other girl’s legal guardian also told police Alsteen had no permission to house his daughter or transport her to Superior.

Police learned Alsteen had called in sick on March 31.

Alsteen denied to police that she ever transported any juveniles out of Eau Claire.

If convicted, Alsteen could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com