exposing the dark side of adoption
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Caldwell mother sentenced in child abuse case


CALDWELL - A Caldwell woman could serve up to ten years in prison for the role she played in the abuse of her three adopted children. The abuse, which spans from the time that the three children were adopted in 2003, was reported in May of 2009. The victims, ages 9, 10 and 13, told officials that their adoptive mother, Kaylynn Gaunavinaka, not only participated in the physical abuse but also took steps to cover the abuse by applying make-up to the bruises inflicted by her then-husband, Kekoa Glenn Gaunavinaka.

Kaylynn Gaunavinaka, 35, was sentenced by 3rd District Judge Bradly Ford for the felony crime of Injury to Child. She will serve a total sentence of 10 years, with three fixed. After serving the first 180 days in an Idaho Department of Correction rehabilitation program, she will have the opportunity to appear in court again to be considered for release on probation.

"At the completion of this program, the defendant will be brought back before the court and Judge Ford will determine whether to place her on probation or require her to serve her remaining prison sentence," Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak said. "She is required to submit a DNA sample and have no contact with the victims or any unsupervised contact with any other children."

The State recommended a total unified sentence of 10 years, with the first four fixed and the court retaining jurisdiction.

"These children deserved a mother who would protect them from the evils of the world. Instead, Mrs. Gaunavinaka encouraged, participated and covered up the abuse," Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin said.

During her sentencing, Ford addressed Kaylynn Gaunavinaka: "These children suffered horrific almost unspeakable abuse at the hands of Mr. Gaunavinaka and yourself...you stood by while these children were battered. The reality is that you were a full participant in the abuse."

The father was convicted of molesting a young girl in November and pleaded guilty in a separate case to injuring his two sons. He is to be sentenced on all three charges Feb. 11.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

2010 Jan 12