Maupin pleads guilty to stealing signs about missing Bardstown woman

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The woman accused of stealing signs seeking information about a missing Bardstown woman pleaded guilty in court Tuesday morning.

Crystal Maupin did not did show up to face the judge, but her attorney entered the guilty plea on her behalf to a charge of theft by unlawful taking. 

Maupin admitted to stealing signs about the search for Crystal Rogers, who has been missing more than two years. The signs were stolen in July. Maupin is currently dating Brooks Houck, who is Rogers' former boyfriend and the only named suspect in her disappearance.

Houcks has not been charged in connection to Rogers' disappearance but coincidentally appeared in court Tuesday on unrelated traffic charges. 

Maupin received a 60-day suspended sentence with a two-year conditional discharge. That means Maupin will be on probation for two years, but she will serve 60 days in jail if she violates the terms. 

"If she messes up, she will serve that time," said Sherry Ballard, Crystal's mother. "So I'm satisfied with what happened this morning."

Maupin is also barred from having contact with Ballard for a period of two years. 

"She took those signs. She should be held responsible for that," Ballard said. "She was guilty of that, and she should be punished for what she did."

Several members of Ballard's family joined her in court Tuesday. Maupin was ordered to write an apology letter to Ballard, but Ballard said she wishes it was an apology to her family and entire community. 

Crystal Rogers, 35 was last seen July 3, 2015.  The car owned by the mother of five was found abandoned on the side of Bluegrass Parkway two days later. 

Tragedy struck again for Rogers' family in November 2016 when her father Tommy Ballard was shot and killed while hunting on family property. Kentucky State Police are treating the incident as a death investigation.

Tuesday's court proceedings were a small victory for a family that has been waiting for justice. 

"It's small, but finally something happened for me ... that's going in my direction for once," Ballard said. "This is just kind of a break through for me. It means a whole lot to me."

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