Pair Pleads Guilty to Abuse

Date: 2007-04-10

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pair Pleads Guilty to Abuse

By Leann Holt
Journal Staff Writer

A Valencia County man and his wife are facing a total of 91 years in prison for the sexual abuse of their 14-year-old adopted daughter.
Ellery James pleaded guilty Monday to five counts of criminal sexual penetration. His wife, Krisi, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual penetration and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A sentencing date has not been set.

According to Romaine Serna, spokeswoman for the Children, Youth and Families Department, the girl had been removed from her parents while living in Florida. In 2004, officials there asked CYFD to do a home study on the Jameses, who are related to the girl.

CYFD approved the family for adoption and the girl was placed with the James family. According to the girl, the sexual abuse started immediately, Serna said.

In spring 2006, the girl walked into the Valencia County CYFD office with a detailed statement documenting her abuse and asked for help, Serna said. CYFD officials immediately removed her from the home along with other children living there. Serna did not immediately have information on those children.

A CYFD investigation substantiated the girl's statements.

"As horrible as this is, this speaks to the spirit of this child that she was able to walk in and ask for help," Serna said.

The girl was in court Monday for her adoptive parents' hearing, she said.


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