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Archive for Saturday, January 12, 2008

Couple face life terms in sex abuse cases

January 12, 2008

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A Baldwin City couple are facing life in prison for sex crimes involving their children.

A 28-year-old Baldwin City woman, who made her first appearance Friday in Douglas County District Court, is charged with three crimes involving her 3-year-old son and another crime involving her boyfriend's daughter.

The woman is charged with aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and sexual exploitation of a child. She faces up to life in prison on those charges, prosecutors said. She also is charged with endangering a child - her boyfriend's 14-year-old daughter. The woman faces up to 17 months in prison on that charge.

Court documents allege the crimes against the toddler occurred last year, between June 1 and Aug. 9. The crimes against the teenager occurred between Jan. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2007, documents say.

The woman's 40-year-old boyfriend is awaiting sentencing in his own case.

He was charged in August with three counts of rape of a child, one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and one count of criminal sodomy, all involving his daughter. The incidents allegedly occurred between November 2004 and March 2007, in Lawrence and Baldwin City.

Last month, the man pleaded no contest to the three rape charges. He will be sentenced in March.

According to Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, the investigation of the woman started as officers gathered evidence in her boyfriend's case.

"The initial investigation was started after the victim in that case came forward to some law enforcement personnel and social service personnel that they had been victimized," he said.

Both adults face 25 years to life in prison under Jessica's Law.

Jessica's Law is the informal name given to a 2005 Florida law aimed at deterring sex offenders from offending again. Jessica Lunsford was a 9-year-old Florida girl raped and murdered by a previously convicted sex offender.

The law, which applies to defendants whose victims are younger than 14, was adopted in 2006 in Kansas. It imposes a 25-year sentence for adults convicted of a violent sex crime against a child. A second conviction triggers a 40-year term and a third results in life without parole.

Branson said the main feature of the law is that it allows judges to impose harsher than normal sentences on first-time offenders, if the crimes are severe. These two cases meet that test, he said.

The woman - speaking Friday via an electronic feed from jail - told District Judge Stephen Six she now was living with her parents in Overbrook. She said her mother had been driving her to Stormont-Vail Hospital West, a behavioral health division of the Topeka hospital, to see a counselor.

"I have a severe problem with depression and I haven't had my medication today," she told the judge.

She began crying and told the judge she was on suicide watch, but not a flight risk because the only place she had to go was her parents' house. She said she works in Lawrence.

The judge set her bond at $250,000 and ordered her not to have any contact with her son or her boyfriend's daughter.

Her next court appearance is set for 2 p.m. Monday. The Journal-World generally does not identify people charged with sex crimes unless there is a conviction.

Comments

jronthemic 6 years, 11 months ago

Reality check... Just a reality check since you did seem to understand the charges imposed against these two, (I'm just a paralegal from New York City at a top firm who tracks specifically, crimes committed against children and I can asure you what the charges mean): aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated indecent liberties....the aggravated part in any charge is the VIOLENCE and aggravated indecent liberties should alarm everyone as it means it is a violent sexual act with SEXUAL MOTIVE (not power, former abuse, blah blah blah) Thus, the reason for videotaping her crime, she was GETTING OFF! Further, sodomy of a child, especially a toddler is specifically violent! Criminals who chose deviant sex acts are particularly the worst amongst us.

Its nice that good ole' citizens want to protect the right to live -I respect your opinion but if confronted with your own toddler being on the other end of the stick (no pun intended), or if you were the one violently raped and abused, videotaped, etc. (like myself) you might change your mind. This particular case does not involve death, so death penalty is not legally appropriate in our system.. (personally I favor the wood chipper:)

Do you know why criminal conduct is far less prevalent in other countries as opposed to the United States' record which tops the lists...because the conditions and terms of their prisons is so horrific, no one wants to go, trust me, they think about it. Get Caned in Thailand, a bullet in china, or live on a cement floor in Germany with noodles, bread and water only...you would NOT want to go there. We have far too many rights and liberties in our prison system, they are like country clubs --with fights. Sexual offenders are even put in PC-PROTECTIVE CUSTODY! So change those laws at least if you aren't willing to euthanize the scum of the Earth! And conservatives support pro life, but support War, doesn't war kill? Then I want you to lobby for all that is living..animals, plants, trees...where does the pro-life stop and good moral sense come in?

Angel_100, baby girl, u r strong! I've been there in the worst way and was threatened for years, if you ever want to talk, email me directly- reneeserrano@yahoo.com

Thank god these children lived! But I disagree that they will be ok, as a mother of 3, a professional, an X military member, I still have not gotten past my childhood abuse. None of us knows how that little boy will deal with this when he is older. The humiliation alone will be horrible for him- and the same for her, what will be sacred when it was already taken?

trinity 6 years, 11 months ago

good example of a NO plea-bargain case!

bless those kidlets, i hope they're all safe, secure, and healing.

Ragingbear 6 years, 11 months ago

B3, the electric chair is cruel and unusual. Throw them into a wood chipper, feet first of course.

Terry Jacobsen 6 years, 11 months ago

Ragingbear it must be sad to be so obsessed with your hatred of President Bush that you have to bring that into this discussion. This has nothing to do with that. These are real people whose lives have been torn apart. Let's focus here and stay on the subject.

Sentinel2 6 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like the DA is going all out on this one. Let's hope the judges follow suit. I don't give a damn this woman is on suicide watch--she's making excuses for her behavior and hoping the system will feel sorry for her. This pathetic human being and her boyfriend need to rot in prison, where maybe they will get a true lesson in what its like to be abused.

lovenhaight 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm guessing that there are no names because if you know who the parents are, you know who the children are. No 14 year old should have to broadcast that they were the victim of incestual abuse.

labmonkey 6 years, 11 months ago

Any sexual abuse of a child should be automatic death penality. I don't care if the offender has a developmental disability or is on a suicide watch. One you molest a child, you've lost your right as a human being.

somebodynew 6 years, 11 months ago

If you want names (and pictures) go to Channel 5's website. They have a more complete story on this POS.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, they already made a plea deal with the boyfriend, probally to testify against the women. But it's not like he's getting out anytime soon.

mechman 6 years, 11 months ago

crosstown her parents have the 2 girls

compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

I for one am thankful that labmonkey is not a politician or legislator.

Jim Harris 6 years, 11 months ago

I know this couple also. I am the brother of the victim's father. I hope that they make sure that the boy is taken care of. The woman's parents have custody of her other son and daughter. These crimes are so harsh that they will not be getting out.

Tristan Moody 6 years, 11 months ago

I hate to be a grammar nazi on here, but the JW makes this mistake constantly, and it drives me nuts: "Couple" is singular, meaning that the headline should be "Couple FACES life terms..." I know the AP stylebook says differently, but that's crap.

hipper_than_hip 6 years, 11 months ago

Child rape should be a capital offense with the sentence carried out within 30 days of judgement.

bigjdbigpapafreeroam 6 years, 11 months ago

I am the Paternal grandmother of the 3 yr old child. As matter of fact the maternal grandparents do have custody of the BOY and GIRL. I dont know where ya are getting that she has 2 girls. Yes it is sad that this has happened. It will take time to work through this situation. Just remember one thing: You can forgive but you never will forget. As far as the maternal grandparents having custody unless you know the whole situation then you have no room to talk.

bigjdbigpapafreeroam 6 years, 11 months ago

Unless you have been in their shoes (victims) you dont know what goes through their minds. Alot of threating will be done against the victims. I praise 100_angel for stepping up and defending herself and her mother. If it wasnt for her stepping up lord knows how long the abuse would of continued. I could carry on with alot of the way i feel but i wont. 100_angel, Stay strong, you have our support.

Horrible 6 years, 11 months ago

This is to Dusty comment: Why do you say that you are not suprised?

gerbilsniper 6 years, 11 months ago

Scary thing is I just saw a guy I went to HS with on the KBI sex offender registry about a month ago for indecent liberties with a child under 16. Surprised me. What scares me is 3 days ago I saw he created a facebook profile. How can he be permitted on a social networking site teeming with High School children? It seems like a doorway for a second offense.

Pardon any typos as i'm browsing on my SmartPhone.

Dusty 6 years, 11 months ago

I rode the school bus with this girl, and honestly, I'm not surprised.

Ragingbear 6 years, 11 months ago

~~Child rape should be a capital offense with the sentence carried out within 30 days of judgement.~~

I agree on the penalty. But 30 days from sentencing is a bit extreme. We still need due process, even if Bush doesn't.

Rabbitgoesthump 6 years, 11 months ago

She may not be a flight risk, but staying at her parents house, overbrook is a small community with alot of children that play outside with out adult supervision, I wouldn't want her walking around my town free...

100_Angel 6 years, 11 months ago

i am the 14 yr old got raped by her father and my mother did not know cuz i would not tell her cuz my father told me he would kill me if i ever told my mother and he said that he would do the same thing to my little sister.

Jim Harris 6 years, 11 months ago

Currently the uncle has temporary custody of the 3 yr old, but her parents have custody of her other 2 children. The child in Overbrook. I Just hope that my brother can get custody of his son and keep him away from others like her. If it wasnt for my brother trying to get custody I would definitely try for custody because I dearly care for my nephew and hope that he will still be able to lead a normal life.

labmonkey 6 years, 11 months ago

Reality_Check says:

"It imposes a 25-year sentence for adults convicted of a violent sex crime against a child."

No mention in the article of violence. Did I miss something?

Why stop with the death penalty for just crimes against kids? I think ALL committers of ALL crimes involving another person (and all religious conservatives) should get the death penalty. We could set up a Death Factory in Lansing. Out back we could get the prisoners to dig their own mass graves, and other prisoners could drive the bulldozers to cover them up.

Oh, darn, that dumb old Constitution keeps getting in the way of our becoming Nazi Germany.

So repeal it already!

Labmonkey's retort:

It has been pretty much established that sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated. Sexually molesting a child is pretty much the worst thing one human being (I use that term lightly) can do to another, so comparing that to all crimes in your little snide, Goodwin's-Law-Breaking comment is bunk. If there is one resourse that needs to be protected, it is children. Not only does molestation cause physical damage, it causes psychological damage that in many cases is beyond repair for that child's lifetime. Once someone commits a crime of this magnitute, they should never, ever receive another chance to repeat that crime, and the only way to do that is execution. I imagine your tune will change if an offender moves to your block and you have children.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 11 months ago

Wait a minute. This must be wrong. This must have happened in New York or California, not in good old Lawrence and Baldwin City.

I would expect such behavior in the godless Gomorrahs of the coasts, but not in god-fearing Kansas.

campbells7057 6 years, 11 months ago

My great-nephew is the victim in this matter and I know that the family all feels the same. I also believe, that with the love and support of the family that he will be alright in the long run. He won't forget what has happened to him but he can work through it and be able to manage it through time. It is sad that a parent could do this. We, think here that no punishment is going to be harsh enough and that in cases like this they should use the old ways such as squawing.

Horrible 6 years, 11 months ago

I have a question Why is everyone placing blame with the female there was another party involved which is not getting any slack from this.

bigjdbigpapafreeroam 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes there is another party involved and yes he took a plea bargin. He is just as guilty. But both were adults should of known better. But when one uses the excuse as "cant break the chain", i think is a bunch of bull. Anybody in their own mind should have enough control of themselves to break the chain that his mother started with him. I feel for all the childeren that is involved with this mess.

campbells7057 6 years, 11 months ago

Horrible, Maybe because she tried to hide and lie about it while the boyfriend took the heat for it all. What she didn't expect was to get caught and would be able to continue the sick ways she was trying to hide. The boyfriend admitted his fault in the matter and yet she tried to hide everything but failed as we all see. Why is everyone placing the blame on the female? I think that has been answered.

Brandy Harris 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes she is getting alot of the blame for the fact that being the victims mother she should have done all she could to protect that baby.

Brandy Harris 6 years, 11 months ago

How can you let someone do this to your child and worse how can you do this yourself? It is bad enough that she let this happen and worse that they taped it on a webcam (heard on channel 5). I agree I think crimes against a child should be a capital crime. Me being a victim myself still remember everything that happened to me and then when my offender got very little time it was like a slap in the face to me. I hope they make to where these two can no longer hurt any children ever again.

bigjdbigpapafreeroam 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes i agree there are so many that dont get the chance to go on with their lives and have the nightmare of what has happened to them. I am very lucky to have my grandson alive. But you know there is so much that is not being told on this case. I also know the family of the 14 yr old and my support also goes out to them. These kids will live with this for the rest of their lives.

braesmom 6 years, 11 months ago

labmonkey (Anonymous) says:

Any sexual abuse of a child should be automatic death penality. I don't care if the offender has a developmental disability or is on a suicide watch. One you molest a child, you've lost your right as a human being.

I agree 100%

braesmom 6 years, 11 months ago

i just don't see how someone could do that to their child.. any child. if something like that ever would happen to my son i would be in jail for killing the person who did it!

oneproudmotherof2girls 6 years, 11 months ago

I feel like braes mom that if it ever happended to my child I would be the one that is facing life in prison cause they would be dead....100_Angel keep your head up....Our prayers go out to all the families that have been affected by something that these discusting people have done...May god be with you all

bigjdbigpapafreeroam 6 years, 11 months ago

Thank you all for the support for the children. It is greatly appreciated.

mamaofone2007 6 years, 11 months ago

I know them and i feel so bad for the girl I love her so much and she is part of my family but you know what her father did to her will hurt her forever and i dont understand how he or his girlfriend can do this its unbelieveable! When we would see them you would have never thought of this...

100_Angel 6 years, 11 months ago

hey mamaofone who are you talking about?

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