Woman gets prison for abusing kids
Teens were regularly chained, beaten and held captive; leniency plea unheeded
A Pear Park woman, who abused her boyfriend’s teenage son and daughter by regularly chaining up the boy with handcuffs and denying both children food and bathroom privileges, sobbed Thursday morning as she told a judge she didn’t think she deserved prison.
Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley disagreed.
“The punishment on the kids was extraordinary,” Gurley said before sentencing 34-year-old Kristie Moore to three years in prison and two years in community corrections.
Allegations that surfaced in April, accusing the couple, Moore and her then-boyfriend John Wilson, 41, of regularly chaining up, beating and denying basic needs to the two teens, who were essentially held captive for at least a year in the home, stunned the community, said Moore’s attorney, Colorado Public Defender Ryan Esplin.
“Our reaction when we first learned about it, (was) we were shocked,” Esplin said. “I think the entire public was shocked.”
But Esplin argued that since the couple was arrested, Moore’s remorse combined with her entry of a guilty plea to charges of child abuse and her minimal criminal history should keep her out of prison.
Esplin said Moore’s punishment should mirror the sentence of Wilson, who in August was sentenced by Gurley to 10 years probation and two years in the work-release program.
After listening to statements from the teenage girl, Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret, and Wilson’s mother, Pat Wilson, Gurley determined Moore, who was home daily with the teens while John Wilson worked as a truck driver, held more responsibility for the abuse.
“My brother was on them every day,” the teenage girl told Gurley about watching him being handcuffed.
The girl also told Gurley that Moore had taken them out of middle school, against their wishes, and home-schooled them to hide the abuse from authorities.
The girl, who is not the biological child of Moore or John Wilson, also was beaten with a belt, was denied snacks and once was grounded for a year, forced to sit at the kitchen table from the time she was done with school until bedtime, Moore’s arrest affidavit said.
John Wilson and Moore pleaded guilty to the abuse that occurred between Nov. 1, 2005, and July 20, 2006.
The girl was 16 years old and the boy was 15 when they were taken from the couple’s Brownie Circle home.
They now reportedly are enrolled in public school, living in foster care and doing well.
Eret said she usually advocates for similar punishments for co-defendants, but she argued this case was different. From the time of the arrests, Wilson appeared remorseful and worked with officials from Mesa County’s Department of Human Services, taking parenting classes in an effort to someday reunite with his children.
But Moore, whom the teens told Human Services they did not want contact with, “likes to play the victim,” Eret said.
Moore told Gurley her actions were wrong and being in custody of the Mesa County Jail “shows me a lot of what I put those children through.”
“I don’t know where people are getting that I’m not remorseful. I am. I hope you’re lenient with me,” she said to Gurley through tears. “I don’t feel I deserve prison.”
“I think there’s a lot of people who would disagree with you on that,” Gurley countered.
Moore received 191 days credit for time served in jail and will have to pay about $1,000 in fines.