COURT THROWS OUT LIGHT SENTENCE FOR MOM
A federal appeals court threw out the 10 year prison sentence of a woman who rented her 9 year old daughter to a pedophile more than 200 times, saying the punishment was too lenient. The woman often held the girl down in their home while Joe J. Champion of Granite City, Ill., molested her, paying the mother $20. Champion pleaded guilty in 2003 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The woman, convicted in 2003 of aggravated sexual abuse and conspiring with Champion to help him molest the girl, was initially sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison, the minimum provided under federal sentencing guidelines. She appealed and an 8th Circuit panel of judges sent the case back to US District Judge Charles A. Shaw, saying he might have given her a lighter sentence if he had known he wasn't bound by the guidelines. A January 2005 decision by the US Supreme Court loosened the nearly 20 year old mandatory guideline system, making it merely advisory. Shaw then sentenced her to 10 years, saying mental problems and drug addiction had influenced her behavior. Prosecutors challenged that sentence, and the appeals panel found the woman's efforts to rehabilitate herself, taking parenting classes and gotten her GED while in prison, neither lessen the horrendous treatment of her daughter, nor indicate that she wouldn't again offer her daughter to an abuser for money.