West Virginia 'incestuous' mum filmed herself sexually abusing girl in bathtub and sent clips to friend, say cops
PRINCETON, WEST VIRGINIA: A 43-year-old mother from West Virginia was jailed for nearly 155 years on Wednesday, May 20, for sexually abusing a young girl in a bathtub before sending a video of the assault to her friend on Facebook.
The woman, identified as Elizabeth Haway, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the "vile and horrific" abuse on the child. Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler, while sentencing Haway, on Wednesday said that "lifelong damage has been inflicted on this child," according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
"This child has lost innocence that can never be restored on replaced," the judge said. "I've been involved in the criminal justice system for over 30 years. From that standpoint, this is one of the most vile and horrific cases I have ever experienced in the criminal justice system."
Authorities were reportedly alerted of the incident through a tip-off. An investigation was subsequently launched by Detective-Sergeant Steve Sommers at Mercer County Sheriff’s Office on April 2, 2018 after he received a cyber tip that child porn had been distributed through the woman's Facebook messenger app.
Detective Sommers, according to a police report obtained by the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, said: "As I searched her Facebook records further, I found two video files that were approximately 3 minutes and 21 seconds (each) in length that had been sent to another Facebook user." Sommers also added that he saw a woman abusing a prepubescent female aged between five and six, according to the news outlet.
"I estimated the age of the child to be between 5 and 6 years of age," Sommers said in the report. “I also observed that the bathtub had distinct cracking of the molding at the wall and bathtub and that the adult female had a tattoo on her finger of a smiley face (two dots and a line).”
Haway, at a December hearing in 2019, had admitted to first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse, and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person of trust, and incest.
She is now required to serve between five and 25 years for the counts of sex abuse and 35 years for incest crimes. The judge also ruled that Haway must serve a minimum of 45 years before she is eligible for parole. Considering Haway's age, she would be nearing 90 at the time of her parole eligibility.
It was also ruled that if Haway ever gets released from prison under any circumstances, she would be required to register as a sex offender with the West Virginia State Police and be under police supervision for at least 20 years.
In another incident of child abuse, a former high school teacher from Escambia County, Florida, guilty of sexual intercourse with a student, asked for physical or chemical castration on Wednesday instead of a prison sentence. The presiding judge, however, handed him a sentence of 12 years, according to reports. The accused, 32-year old Mark Ryan Lua, was sentenced by the Escambia County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Dannheisser to 12 years in state prison, followed by at least 15 years of sexual offender probation. Lua was also designated as a sexual offender and will be required to comply with all sexual offender reporting requirements for the rest of his life.