I think these kids can't help but to be warped by the experience.
`I hate you both,' teen tells women (Lesbians get 30 years for 'hate crime')
Beacon Journal ^ | Posted on Tue, Jan. 13, 2004 | Phil Trexler
Posted on 01/15/2004 3:00:22 PM PST by protest1
Rowles, Jenkins get 30 years; son faces mom `I hate you both,' teen tells women No remorse shown for abuse of 5 boys, girl By Phil Trexler Beacon Journal staff writer
The 15-year-old stood before almost every news camera in Northeast Ohio as he eyed his mother for the first time since escaping from home last spring.
Mary Rowles barely returned her son's look. Neither did her partner, Alice Jenkins. In minutes, the two would learn how long they would be imprisoned for abusing the teen, his four brothers and a sister.
``My entire life has been horrifying because of the abuse, neglect and mistreatment that both of you have inflicted,'' Darrell Rowles began.
``You are both hurtful people and need to be put away for a long time so that no other child has to go through what I went through,'' he said. ``I hate you both for everything you put me through.''
The ``long time'' the teen wanted was translated into 30 years in prison by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove, who called the women ``perhaps the coldest, most unfeeling, least empathetic criminals I have ever seen.''
Before the teen walked into court Tuesday, Rowles and Jenkins sat at a table for about 40 minutes, smiling, chuckling and whispering to each other. The tears they shed at previous court hearings where absent.
``I hate you in the worst way, and it's not desirable to hate someone,'' Darrell told his mother and Jenkins when he stood to speak. ``I never want to see either of you ever again. If you happen to get out of prison soon, I don't want either of you to come near me.''
Time and a string of appeals will tell if the sentence or the women's pleas to a 55-count indictment hold up.
They pleaded guilty in October to kidnapping, felonious assault, child endangering, corrupting another with drugs, and marijuana possession.
In court, attorneys said the women will appeal last week's decision by Cosgrove denying their request to withdraw their guilty pleas and take their case to trial. An appeal on the length of the sentence is also likely.
For now, the women must serve the entire sentence without a chance of parole, prosecutors said.
They will probably be sent together to the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, where 1,737 of the state's female prison inmates live.
A prison spokeswoman said the couple would likely be housed in separate units inside the 250-acre compound northwest of Columbus.
During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors Gregory Peacock and Mary Ann Kovach told the judge about the life the children lived inside their Florida Avenue home, and about ``a household of chaos and deprivation.'
' Before a mass of cameras, they told how Jenkins targeted the five boys because of their gender, and one boy in particular because he is biracial.
They told the overflowing gallery filled with family, friends and curiosity-seekers about the windowless, 3-foot-by-5-foot closet where the boys were forced to sleep in their own urine-soaked blankets for days or weeks at a time.
They told how the boys were forced to swallow human and animal feces, lick toilet bowls as punishment for urinating on the toilet seat, and eat cat food when Jenkins became angry.
Prosecutors showed pictures of the frail, waiflike boys, their ribs and collarbones protruding throughtheir skin. They showed photos of the family's refrigerator and pantry, overflowing with food.
Rowles looked at the photos but showed no emotion. Jenkins didn't look, her eyes focused downward on a piece of paper.
Peacock described the night last April when Darrell and his two younger brothers, 8 and 10, broke out of their upstairs closet, and how the youngest, stuck on the roof, begged not to be left behind.
``They were not simply running away; they were escaping their home,'' Peacock said. All the children are in foster homes. A juvenile judge last year refused to give Rowles visitation. One father walked out of court and passed reporters in tears without commenting. It was unclear if the other children's fathers were there.
Darrell told the court that Christmas and birthday memories were of the abuse he and his brothers endured in 2002 and parts of 2003.
``For example, on Christmas you beat us, then gave us gifts, but the next day you grounded us and destroyed our gifts. I remember not even getting gifts on Christmas. That really hurt,'' he said.
``I hate my birthday. I have no memories of a birthday. All I can remember is Alice hitting me in the face with a shoe and saying, `This is for good will.' '
The bespectacled teen, dressed in a navy blue sweater and gold chains, laughed and shook hands with his brother when he was done speaking.
Cosgrove commended the courage of the boys for escaping their home and telling their story to authorities. She also asked the women if they had anything to say prior to sentencing.
Rowles, 31, replied defiantly: ``Not a thing.''
Jenkins, 28, said simply, ``No, your honor.''
Defense attorneys Don Malarcik and Kirk Migdal, who previously asked Cosgrove to appoint the women new attorneys to handle their appeal, said the women could not express any remorse and make any statements while their appeals were pending.
Last fall, Cosgrove rejected a plea offer prosecutors and defense attorneys reached. The judge reportedly felt the 15-year sentence the woman were prepared to accept was insufficient, and she wanted to retain discretion in sentencing.
In October, the women pleaded guilty to the entire indictment. In December, they tried to retract the pleas after an expert said four of the boys suffered from rumination, an eating disorder that caused them to regurgitate their food.
The expert refused to testify for the women, and after defense lawyers could not find another expert during Christmas week, Cosgrove denied the motion to withdraw the plea, saying the rumination defense was groundless and that the case had been delayed too long.
Migdal and Malarcik said their clients hope a successful appeal and trial will give them an arena to tell their side of the story.
``Alice has a lot to say. Today was not the forum. We hope the decision will be overturned, and she's going to have an opportunity to get her side of the story out, to get the facts out and have a jury decide this matter,'' Malarcik said.
Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org