Mom of Molested Disabled Girl Gets Prison for Taking Money From Abuser

An Illinois woman has been sentenced to 65 months in prison for taking $10,000 in hush money from the man who sexually molested her severely disabled daughter.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the 33-year-old woman — whose name is not being published in order to protect her children — pleaded guilty in March to obstruction of justice and concealing a fugitive for accepting $10,000 from Lawrence Lee Southwood and agreeing not to tell authorities what she knew about the molestation.

Southwood, who the newspaper reported has a long history of sexual and violent crimes, befriended the woman and sometimes took care of her daughter, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. The girl testified at his trial that he repeatedly molested her in August and September 2005.

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Prosecutors said that after accepting the money, the girl's mother told detectives she did not know of any sexual contact between Southwood and her daughter.

"Her decision to take $10,000 to look the other way was an act of unconscionable greed and betrayal like I have never seen during my 28 years in the criminal justice system," James Glasgow, a state's attorney told the Tribune Monday.

Lawrence Sommers, the woman's attorney, said he thinks the sentence is excessive.