Columbia woman admits molesting 3 teen-age boys

August 30, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A 34-year-old woman pleaded guilty in Howard Circuit Court yesterday on charges that she had sexual encounters with three teen-age boys in her Columbia apartment last year.

Karen Marie Hector could be sentenced to 18 months in prison after accepting a plea agreement on perverted sexual practices and three sexual offenses before Judge James Dudley.

The incidents -- involving boys who were 13, 15 and 16 -- occurred in Hector's Stevens Forest Road apartment between June 1993 and December.

The plea agreement calls for Judge Dudley to sentence Hector to eight years in prison, with all but 18 months of term to be suspended. Hector also is to be ordered to complete five years of probation, undergo counseling and avoid contact with the victims.

Judge Dudley is to sentence Hector on Oct. 25, pending a report by the county Office of Parole and Probation.

Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Osterman said she will argue for a lesser sentence for her client. She added Hector will withdraw her guilty plea if Judge Dudley wants to sentence Hector beyond the 18-month term in the agreement.

Meanwhile, the prosecution dropped three counts of perverted sexual offenses as part of the agreement.

Assistant State's Attorney Shirley Ripley noted that the prosecution previously dropped four counts of child abuse because the boys were never in her custody. To be charged with child abuse, a defendant must have custody of a victim at the time of the incidents.

During yesterday's hearing, Ms. Ripley told Judge Dudley that police began investigating Hector in February after the Oakland Mills Middle School principal reported that he had received complaints about Hector from a parent.

Ms. Ripley said a police investigator learned from the boys that Hector showed X-rated videos for them and would strip or wear see-through lingerie in front of them.

Some of the incidents occurred when the boys came to Hector's home to play video games with her 11-year-old son, Ms. Ripley said. Some incidents happened while Hector's son and her other child, 3, were home.

The investigator first met with the 15-year-old victim, who reported that he had intercourse with Hector three or four times between June and December 1993.

Another boy, 13, told the detective that Hector performed a sex act with him at her home in October, Ms. Ripley said. The third boy, 16, reported that he had intercourse with Hector during the last week of December.

During an interrogation after her arrest last March, Hector admitted to having sexual activity with the boys, Ms. Ripley said.

Hector is free on $5,000 bond, pending her sentencing.

Her two children have been placed in foster care by the Howard County Department of Social Services.

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