A Douglas County prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that a Lawrence woman knew her husband was having sex with two young girls but failed to tell anyone.
“She never went to police with this information,” said Amy McGowan, a chief assistant Douglas County district attorney. “She never told (the girls’ family) about any of this at all.”
The woman’s trial began Wednesday afternoon. She faces two counts of child endangerment and one count of lewd and lascivious behavior. Her husband faces a January trial on multiple charges, including three counts of child rape.
He’s accused of having sex with and molesting the two girls, now 9 and 11 years old, over a two-year period at the couple’s home in north-central Lawrence. McGowan told jurors Wednesday that the girls and their siblings, who lived with their parents in Topeka, would frequently spend time at the couple’s home after school one day a week before evening church services.
The girls’ family met the couple through Heritage Baptist Church, which is northwest of Lawrence. McGowan said that in June the girls told their parents and accused the man of having sex with them.
The family then told the church’s pastor, who later notified police. Police interviewed the couple for several hours before arresting them.
But the woman’s attorney during his opening statement Wednesday said other adults involved in the case, including the girls’ mother and church members, suspected something had happened before his client did. Those adults have not been charged in the case, he said.
“She’s been in jail for four months,” defense attorney Napoleon Crews said. “She was there and is there because of a suspicion that she had some idea of what was going on with these little girls.”
McGowan said the woman kept changing her story about when she first began to notice her husband having sexual interactions with the girls and when her husband told her about it. McGowan said that at the order of her husband the woman also lifted her skirt to show one of the girls.
Crews said the police interview of his client only shows that after four hours of interrogation she mentioned being suspicious on one occasion because her husband met her at the top of the stairs apparently to stop her from entering the bedroom.
The trial in District Judge Peggy Kittel’s courtroom is scheduled to last through Friday.
The Journal-World generally does not name sex-crime defendants unless they have been convicted.