Abusive Mom Gets|25 Years in Prison

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A mother was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for transporting her toddler across state lines for sexual abuse and child pornography.
     Carolyn M. Knudsen, 29, of Camas, Wash., took her child to Gresham, Ore., where her boyfriend James Lee Hickerson abused the little girl and videotaped it.
     Hickerson, 36, will be sentenced on Nov. 9 for child pornography in this case and another one.
     Hickerson’s father, Neil Lee Hickerson, 57, also has pleaded guilty to child pornography in the Knudsen case. Prosecutors said he and his son watched child pornography together.
     At her sentencing Monday, Knudsen told U.S. District Judge Michael Simon that she was sorry, but that she did not understand that she was involved in producing child pornography, and that she “did not hurt” her daughter.
     Judge Simon was not persuaded. Prosecutors said Knudsen had taken her little girl to Oregon repeatedly, for 18 months.
     “It may be true that I’m only getting a portion of what happened, but from the portion that I have seen and that I have read, it does appear to me that you have failed to fulfill the fundamental responsibility of a parent, which is to protect one’s child,” the judge said.
     Knudsen pleaded guilty in May and would have faced a mandatory sentence of 30 years to life if she was convicted at trial.
     The prosecutor called Knudsen’s sentence fair, saying it would keep her behind bars until her daughter is an adult.

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