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.
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.