Mother found guilty of sex crimes involving daughter, 6

EVERETT — A Snohomish County jury took less than three hours Tuesday to convict a Marysville mother of more than a dozen sex crimes involving her 6-year-old daughter.

Jurors were told that the woman and her husband solicited customers through Craigslist to sexually assault the girl in their home. Detectives uncovered at least one video of the girl being abused by an unidentified man while her mother watched. She was texting another potential customer at the time, jurors were told.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives also found multiple sexually explicit photographs of the girl that were shared between husband and wife.

The Herald isn’t publishing the parents’ names to protect the identity of the victim and her younger brother. Child Protective Services removed the children from the home after the couple was arrested in 2014.

The woman faces up to 26 years in prison when she is sentenced in March. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Elise Deschenes has indicated that she will ask for more time based on the multiple crimes.

The woman was convicted of child rape and molestation and promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor. The jury also found her guilty of multiple counts of dealing in child pornography. Jurors acquitted her of one child pornography charge.

The defendant, 35, kept her head bowed and wiped at tears Tuesday as the verdict was read. She plans to appeal the conviction, her attorney told Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne.

The woman testified that she was abused by her husband, 57, and forced to engage in sexual contact with her daughter. The woman, who isn’t a U.S. citizen, was concerned that she would be sent back to Tonga if she didn’t cooperate with her husband’s demands, jurors were told.

Deschenes argued that the woman never told detectives that she was a victim of domestic violence. She came up with the story when she realized that she was facing serious criminal charges, the deputy prosecutor said.

“The defendant saw her child, her 6-year-old daughter, as her plaything for her own sexual gratification,” Deschenes said in closing arguments.

The girl also was her “cash cow.”

The defendant’s husband pleaded guilty in June to first-degree child rape and child molestation and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Once they serve their time both defendants will have to convince the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board they are safe to be released.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley.

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