An Alabama father had his girlfriend rape and sodomize his 11-year-old autistic son because he feared the boy was gay.
Sean Cole, 29, and his girlfriend Khadeijah Moore, 21, of Huntsville, Ala., were convicted Tuesday of “rape, sodomy and the sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12,” AL.com reported. They both face up to life in prison and are slated to be sentenced on May 24.
Moore is considered a fugitive after she failed to attend the trial and a warrant for his arrest was issued by the trial judge, FOX13 Memphis reported. Cole has been behind bars since his arrest in January.
The sexual abuse occurred during Thanksgiving 2016 when the then-11-year-old boy, who lives in Georgia with his mother, visited his father for the holiday. Cole allegedly discovered the boy in a “compromising position with another boy” and became furious, prosecutors said.
Cole instructed Moore to have sex with the victim. Moore raped and sodomized the victim and forced the child to perform sexual acts on her, AL.com reported.
“It was solely that he was worried that his son was gay, or might become gay,” Tim Douthit, a prosecutor, said. “There was no evidence he had a sexual attraction to his son or children.”
“He just thought he could, for lack of better words, ‘straighten him out,’” he continued.
The crimes were reported by the victim’s mother after the boy returned home from his visit. She became concerned after her son started asking her sex-related questions. The boy opened up and told her what happened, and she immediately went to police to report the crime.
Moore and Cole were arrested in January 2017.
Reta McKannan, Moore’ defense attorney, said her client “did everything at Sean Cole’s direction.”
“That doesn’t make it OK. That doesn’t make it right,” McKannan said.
Cole has previously been arrested for domestic violence, court records showed.
Douthit said the boy told an interviewer he was confused at the time of the sexual assault and asked, “Why is my dad doing this to me?”
“Dad said to tell no one. I failed him. I just told you,” the victim told the interviewer.
The prosecutor said the boy, who is now 13, is “doing well.”
“The most terrible part of this is the little boy still doesn’t understand it’s not his fault,” Douthit said. “He still thinks he’s the bad guy. It’s heartbreaking.”