Sick couple who forced their 11-year-old son to watch them have sex to keep him "straight" jailed
The father told the authorities when he was being arrested that he wanted to keep the child "on the straight and narrow"
An unnamed couple, who lied about abusing their son to cover up their crimes when the child went to the police, have been sentenced to prison after the Reading Crown Court heard how they started sexually assaulting the boy, who is now in his 30s, from the age of 11. At the time of his arrest, the boy's father told the authorities that he wanted to keep his son "on the straight and narrow." Prosecutor Ruby Silva told the jury that the couple used to force their son to watch the two of them having sex and even performed sexual acts on him to prevent him from turning gay.
The presiding judge, Maria Lamb, heard how the victim had alerted the authorities of what had happened to him way back in 1998 and how at the time his father had lied to the detectives. The victim (now a 30-year-old man) also said that his version of the story was not believed because of this. Many years later, he went back to the authorities with his story and only this time the matter was taken seriously and his father and stepmother were arrested and booked under several accounts of sexul offence, the Mirror reported.
Timothy Shorter, the defense lawyer of the now 60-year-old father, said: "Witness testimonies have demonstrated how the father had put himself out for the community. The father has had this hanging over his head a long time." He pleaded with the judge to give the elderly man a suspended sentence; meanwhile, Shaun Smith, the defense lawyer of victim's stepmother, said: "There are some people who hold her with a degree of regard and consider her somewhat well."
The judge, however, said that the heinous crimes were carried out on the "particularly vulnerable" child. She said: "You have both argued that this whole trial process has weighed heavily on the both of you. This will provide you with absolutely no mitigation. This was your own warped sense of right and wrong. One of the most sickening aspects is how you pointed a finger at wholly innocent people, such as the boy's birth mother." She also added that the child "was desperate for affection and you wholly exploited that."
The stepmother has been charged on accounts of child cruelty, indecent assault, and indecent acts with a child. She was sentenced to nine years. The father admitted to the child cruelty and indecency with a child charges. He was cleared of the indecent assault charges and sentenced to six years.
After the verdicts were read out in the court, the victim said: "A lot of people will ask 'why now?' But it took me that long to convince myself I had the courage to go through it all again. If my story can reach just one other person, I will be perfectly happy with that."
In a similar incident reported from Alabama, 29-year-old Sean Cole and his girlfriend, Khadeijah Moore, were convicted in late March 2018 for raping Cole's 11-year-old autistic son. According to the prosecutor, Cole would regularly get Moore to rape, sodomize, and abuse the young child because he was under the impression that his son was gay. A jury at a Madison County Court convicted the pair of rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse of a child younger than 12.
Tim Douthit, the Madison County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said that the crimes took place during Thanksgiving week in 2016 when the child had gone to Huntsville to visit his dad. Prosecutors said that Cole found his son in a "compromising position" with another boy and that's when he told Moore to perform sex acts on the child. According to the trial testimony, the then-20-year-old Moore raped, sodomized and inappropriately touched the child. The pair also forced the autistic boy to perform sex acts on Moore.
Douthit said: "It was solely that (Cole) was worried that his son was gay or might become gay. There was no evidence he had a sexual attraction to his son or children. He just though he could, for lack of better words, 'straighten him out.'" The boy had been living with his mother in Georgia at the time and when he went back home after Thaksgiving, he asked her a lot of sex related questions which made her suspicious. The boy then told his mother what happened when he went to visit Cole and Moore and she immediately drove to Huntsville to report the matter to the detectives.
Will McDonald, an investigator for the Huntsville Police Department, charged Cole and Moore in January 2017. Cole has been imprisoned in the Madison County Jail since his arrest; a cash-only bail for him was set at $750,000. Moore did not show up for the trial after she was released on bail so she was considered a fugitive. Reta McKannan was appointed to represent Moore in court and the Madison County Circuit Judge Allison Austin put out a warrant for her arrest in the beginning of the trial.
McKanna told AL.com: "My client did everything at Sean Cole's direction. That doesn't make it OK. That doesn't make it right. As sorry as I am that my client is in this much trouble, I respect that jury for what they had to do." She said that the specific details of the case were difficult for the jury to hear and then consider.
Douthit said: "I have been prosecuting child sex crimes for a long time now, and this is the first time I've ran into anything like this. The most terrible part of this is the little boy still doesn't understand it's not his fault." He said that when a forensic investigator was interviewing the boy and asked him what he was thinking about when he was raped, the child replied: "I was thinking why is my dad doing this to me. Dad said to tell no one. I failed him -- I just told you."
The boy, who is noe 13-years-old, is currently doing well and Douthit said: "But, he still thinks he's the bad guy. It's heartbreaking."