Fredonia woman’s plea for leniency rejected by judge who calls crimes committed against 12-year-old repulsive
The lawyer representing a Fredonia woman who subjected her 12-year-old daughter to a sexual assault at the hands of her husband didn’t try to explain his client’s crimes but argued last week that she certainly didn’t deserve the 20-year prison sentence recommended by Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol.
“I think this is a prison case, but attorney Gerol gives short shrift to the type of individual she was at the time,” said William Mayer, the woman’s attorney, adding that she suffered a “verbal and mental beat-down” at the hands of her husband and exhibited symptoms of domestic abuse. A sentence of 7-1/2 years in prison would be more appropriate, he said.
Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams disagreed.
“This is one of those cases that, quite frankly, is repulsive,” Williams said. “Repulsive is the only way to describe it.”
Williams sentenced the woman, who Ozaukee Press is not naming to protect the victim, to 22-1/2 years in prison followed by 15 years of extended supervision.
“A person gives birth to a child and society expects that person to provide shelter, basic necessities, food, education, love and protection,” the judge said. “You might have provided some of those things, but your actions show you didn’t provide the love or the protection.”
Instead, the woman “sat on the bed while her husband sexually assaulted her 12-year-old daughter and didn’t do a thing,” Williams said.
The woman, 37, pleaded no contest in May to felony crimes of failure to protect a child from sexual assault, being party to the crime of first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 13 and child enticement-sexual contact.
A week earlier, Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy sentenced the woman’s 45-year-old husband to 35 years in prison followed by 20 years of extended supervision for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, who was “served up” to him by her mother as some sort of perverse birthday gift, Gerol said.
“This was a 12-year-old girl,” Gerol said. “She should never have been exposed to something like this.”
A jury deliberated less than two hours in February before finding the man guilty of first-degree sexual assault of a child and incest with a child by a stepparent. Gerol called the trial remarkable not only because of the testimony provided by the young victim but because her mother also testified against her husband.
During the trial, the girl told jurors that on April 1, 2013 — her stepfather’s 44th birthday — her mother led her into the master bedroom of the family’s Fredonia apartment, where her stepfather was waiting.
“She (her mother) said, ‘We’re going to give your daddy a special birthday gift,’” the girl, now 13, told jurors. “I said, ‘I don’t want to, mommy,’ but she said, ‘Do this just for once.’”