Monday, September 13, 2010

Couple abuse developmentally disabled woman for 13 years starting when she was 14 - Woman sentenced to 40 years

(Original Post 5-10-08)
Sgt. Linda Cook, a Muncie, IN detective, is calling the case of a couple who has allegedly sexually abused a 27 year old developmentally disabled woman for the past 13 years a "most bizarre case." Duane Tackett, 48, and his wife Patricia, 47, are charged with sexually abusing the developmentally disabled woman.

"It started here in Muncie when the girl was 14. She's presently 27. We believe they lived in Muncie for the first two years of this abuse then moved to Salyersville, Kentucky," said Sgt. Linda Cook, Muncie police.

The Tacketts had recently moved to a Muncie neighborhood from Kentucky. When a relative asked the victim why she was wearing a birth control patch, the woman told of the history of abuse and the relative then called police.

Police say Patricia Tackett and the victim were living in a home on Hodson Street with Duane Tackett still in Kentucky. Police records describe a regular patten of sexual abuse by both suspects. Investigators say the victim has the mental capacity of a child.

"We're looking at adding at least one rape count to each defendant because of the mental capacity of the victim," said Mark McKinney, Delaware County prosecutor.

"I believe it may have become part of her life and maybe it was accepted. She definitely tells me she doesn't want to do it anymore and doesn't like the people that did this to her."

The break in the case occured when the victim told an aunt that Duane Tackett repeatedly had sex with her for the past 13 years. Duane Tackett was persuaded to return to Indiana to face the sex charges according to Cook. Underlying issues regarding the abuse include not wanting the woman to "date" other men.

Patricia Ann Tackett, 47, 124 1/2 N. Hodson St., was arrested this week on a preliminary charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Her husband, Duane Ray Tackett, 48, was taken into custody Wednesday, preliminarily charged with sexual misconduct with a minor, criminal deviate conduct and child solicitation. They were being held without bond in the Delaware County jail late Wednesday.

Formal charges the Tacketts face may also include rape, as mentioned above. They are being held without bond and face Kentucky charges as well.

(Update 9-13-10) Patricia Tackett was sentenced to 40 years in prison August 24 by Judge Marianne Vorhees in Delaware Circuit Court 1. Judge Vorhees believed that Patricia Tackett's crimes were "very disturbing, almost beyond belief," and merited a term of as much as 60 years behind bars.

A Delaware County Circuit Court 1 jury found her guilty July 28 of rape, sexual misconduct with a minor, and child solicitation. Child solicitation is a Class D felony carrying a standard 1 1/2 year sentenced - the other felonies are Class B felonies with a standard 10 year sentence. Testimony said that the Tacketts both participated in assults on the woman lasting for at least 14 years.

"The details of this crime are shocking," said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold, who recommended a 38-year sentence.

Defense attorney Kelly Bryan suggested a 10-year sentence with four years suspended, asking the judge to consider "a certain element of provocation and control here, at the hands of her spouse."

[P]robation officer Teresa Brown told the judge that in a pre-sentence interview, Tackett had expressed little remorse for her actions, instead blaming a family member who had learned of the sexual abuse and alerted authorities.

"Not only did she not take responsibility for this crime, she's still having continuous contact with Duane Tackett, who's coming to see her at the jail," Brown said. Brown said the victim -- now 30 and described as having the mental capacity of an 8-year-old -- had told her the Tacketts "should be made to stop so that they won't hurt anyone else, and stay in jail."

At the sentencing hearing, Patricia Tackett said to the victim, who was not present, "I feel so hurt because I let you down...Please forgive me for all I have done." Judge Vorhees, for her part, said that "I believe in my heart she knew exactly what was going on and she knew it was wrong," the judge said. "And she did nothing to stop it." As for her expression of remorse, it was, in Vorhees' opinion, "way too little, (and) way, way, way too late, probably 14, 15, 16 years too late."

1 comment:

KevB said...

I was once an employee at one of these DD agencies. I had no experience in this fiend upon entering it and was placed in a group home on 16th St. which housed(incredibly) 21 consumers. One weekend We were sitting in the living room and one of the consumers began arguing and screaming at the assistant manager. They were both in the kitchen which was clearly visible from where we were. Suddenly during the argument, the 6 foot 300 pound assistant manager slams the door closed, obstructing our veiw. Within seconds I hear the horrowling scream in this consumer's voice. I had heard later on that Sherilyn shoved her head into the sink but cannnot substantiate that since the door was closed and I didn't see anything but I know what I heard.

A few months later I ran across an employee who was previously terminated from the agency. She explaimed to me that she saw the entire episode that had transpired a few months earlier and reported the incident to the manager, who then told Sherilyn and this employee was abruptedly terminated for an unrelated infraction. At this time she was collecting unemployment and told me that she was in litigation regarding this episode. Does she have a chance to win? Does the truth have a chance to come out?