CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire lawyer who took her daughter to Canada to videotape her having sex with a young Ontario man has been convicted of exploiting the 14-year-old to produce child pornography.
Jurors had the case for less than an hour when they convicted the 43-year-old woman of all eight counts — child sexual exploitation, transporting her child across state lines to produce child pornography and possession of child pornography.
The woman appeared stoic as the verdict was read. Her daughter was in the courtroom and showed no emotion.
In their final argument Thursday, federal prosecutors played the defendant's own words — recorded during various expletive-laden jailhouse telephone calls in December — calling her daughter a liar and blaming her for her predicament.
"This is not her daughter's fault," U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said. "Tell her by your verdicts she should have been a mother."
Defence lawyer James Moir argued that his client — who's not named to protect the identity of the girl — did not force or prompt her daughter to engage in the sex acts she videotaped.
"You can hate her. You can be morally outraged by what she did," Moir told jurors. "You can have these emotions but you have to put them aside when you deliberate."
Kacavas countered that the government didn't have to show the defendant "caused" her daughter to engage in the sexual conduct, including a videotaped session involving the woman performing oral sex on the child.
"All she had to do was use or employ this child in making child pornography," Kacavas said. "She sexually exploited her child."
Two men testified they had sex with the woman and with her daughter multiple times during separate encounters in 2012, one in Niagara Falls and the other at the attorney's home in Manchester, N.H. Both said the accused recorded several of the sexual encounters on a smartphone.
Kevin Watson, of Niagara Falls, Ont., testified Wednesday that he spent a long weekend in May, 2012 with the mother and daughter in a motel room in Niagara Falls. He said he met the girl online and that they had sexually explicit Skype sessions before the rendezvous about three weeks after the girl's 14th birthday.
Watson, 20, said the woman told him it was her daughter's first time having intercourse, and videotaped that and other sexual encounters during the weekend.
Police told him they would not press charges of having sex with a minor and making child pornography if he testified in the U.S. against the woman, Watson told the court.
Brandon Ore of Lebanon, N.H., testified he met the mother and daughter after responding to a personals ad placed by "two girls, 18 and 33, looking to party." He ultimately moved in with them in July of 2012, and said it was weeks later that he learned they were mother and daughter, and that the girl was 14.
He moved out two months later and turned himself in to police, triggering the lawyer's arrest.
The final prosecution witness Thursday was FBI agent James Scripture, a computer forensic examiner. He testified that all the sexually-explicit videos the jury saw Wednesday were on the defendant's computer, including some that were uploaded from her iPhone.
He said the video of the defendant performing sex acts on her daughter was created May 18, 2012 — a week before their sexual encounter with Watson.
The woman was a member of, and had advocated for, the Alliance Defending Freedom — an anti-gay Christian group.
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