Woman sexually involved with underage teen learns sentence
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana woman had oral sex with a 15 -year old boy and admits to sex acts with six more of her children's friends during drinking parties at her house. Victims' advocates say the punishment given today is not enough.
Mary Dennis wouldn't answer questions while walking from Clark County Superior Court, fresh off a deal, pleading guilty to oral sex with a 15-year-old and child neglect.
Brittany Blau, Clark County Deputy Prosecutor, said Friday, "I think the word I used was surreal. She gets a divorce, she invites basically her son's buddies over and has a sex party. What I found the most insulting is that her 13-year old daughter was participating."
Court records say Dennis' 13-year-old daughter caught her mother in the act as two other teens watched. The report says the 13-year-old drank at these parties with her mom and even engaged in intercourse with some of the same boys.
The prosecution offered a deal with very little jail time. Defense attorney Brian Butler explained, "The agreement is that she would have four years probate and three executed, which under Indiana law she will spend a year to a year and a half in Clark County Jail and be on work release the entire time."
"There's a difference in law between what we in society feel is immoral and what is criminal, " Blau said.
Prosecutors say Dennis had sexual relationships with seven teenage boys but she was only punished for the one today because he was 15. The others, 16 and 17, were above the legal age of consent in Indiana.
Jo Anne Phillips is a crime victims advocate and says a man committing the same crime would have gotten a harsher sentence: "It's made out to be a joke with a woman being the stalker or the perpetrator."
But Blau says, "I think it was a nice balance...This is a woman who we'll say lost her mind for a moment, made a mistake. I can support that with no criminal history."
Butler says, "She's ready to go do her time and get this behind her and move on with her life."
Dennis will also have to complete sexual perpetrator counseling under terms of her plea deal and register as a sex offender.