Kijua Beaudrie took full responsibility for allowing her husband, James to allegedly abuse three of their nine children, but prosecutors say her remorse doesn’t atone for the years of suffering endured by the children.
“The bottom line is that she chose her marriage and her husband`s sexual gratification over the safety and health and welfare of her children for an extended period of time,” says Polk County Assistant Attorney, Frank Severino.
Prosecutors say the Beaudrie children never attended school and lived in filthy, bed bug infested hotel rooms prior to moving into the back room of a store at Merle Hay Mall. Kijua Beaudrie kept a diary of it all.
“According to the journal that was seized in this case, she not only knew girls were being sexually abused but there are times she could hear the girls crying in the other room,” says Severino.
Defense attorneys asked for probation, noting that Beaudrie suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, is receiving therapy and taking part in a program that helps women in crisis. Beaudrie’s children, who are currently in foster care, also asked that their mother not be sent to prison.
“Each of her oldest six children have expressed a desire to have a relationship with their mother and to go home with mom,” says Laura Lockwood, a public defender.
But Beaudrie isn’t going home. The judge sentenced her to three, ten-year terms to be served consecutively. Beaudrie says she now knows what she did was wrong.
“I am blessed by the love my children still give to me, love I could have ruined and feel I don`t always deserve.”