Md. woman sentenced in stepdaughter's assault

November 16, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Frederick, Md., woman convicted of sexually assaulting her stepdaughter was sentenced to time already served and probation for statutory sexual assault.

The 34-year-old woman had served six months in jail from December 2004 to June 2005 after she and her husband were charged with molesting the man's daughter while they lived in Washington Township, according to court records.

Judge Carol Van Horn sentenced the woman, whose name is being withheld by The Herald-Mail to protect the child's identity, to a sentence of time served to 23 months and another three years on probation.

Charges against the woman included rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault corruption of a minor and criminal conspiracy. In September, the woman entered a no contest plea to statutory sexual assault, according to court records.


The woman's husband pleaded guilty to rape of a child earlier this year, and was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, according to court records.

The case came to light after the couple, the victim and three other children moved out of a mobile home on Pen Mar Road to Oklahoma in 2003. While moving in, the new residents found a letter in the frame of a water bed describing sexual acts the man, woman and child had engaged in while living there, Washington Township police said.

The husband was arrested in Oklahoma in July 2004 on an outstanding burglary warrant from Franklin County. The woman and the other three children then moved from Oklahoma, abandoning the victim, who by then was about 14 years old.

"She felt she was also victimized by the co-defendant in this case," Public Defender Michael Toms said. "She was in a situation she didn't want to be in, but didn't know how to get out."

The woman also cooperated with police in the investigation against her husband, Toms said.

Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom said the woman has made "tremendous progress ... to improve herself" since she was charged. The woman, who no longer has custody of any of the children, is employed and getting mental health counseling, she said.

Van Horn also noted the change in the woman since the judge first saw her in court when the issue of custody was being decided. The judge said she remembered the defendants as "a woman I could more accurately describe as a caged animal."

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