“After all the tears, anger and scary nights, the daughter still had it in her heart Tuesday to refer to her mother in court as “my mom.”
Linda Rinehart probably shouldn’t have counted on such a familiar gesture. She was there for sentencing on charges of sitting by while her husband carried on an incestuous relationship with their daughter that lasted for years and produced four babies.
Rinehart, 49, of Harrisonville, had pleaded guilty instead of going to trial for child endangerment and hindering prosecution. She received a seven-year prison term.
Saying she didn’t know about the abuse would not have been much of a defense. Much of it took place as the family, which included three other daughters, slept nights in a crowded, overhead pickup camper.
Last June, the victim daughter, now 21, tearfully and at times angrily told the whole story at her father’s trial that ended with Danial Rinehart being sentenced to 22 years for incest, murder and abandonment of a corpse.
Linda Rinehart had told investigators that she was jealous of her daughter and stayed with her husband because she wasn’t good enough to find somebody else.
Still, on Tuesday, while watching her mother being handcuffed after sentencing, the daughter jerked her head away and cried.”
My notes: This shows that no matter what a parent does to a child, the child can still (and most often does) retain love for their abuser. I have read many cases of children and adults who state in court that they still love their abuser. Children often deny to police that abuse is taking place or accept blame because of their unconditional love for the parent.
“Just moments earlier in the Cass County courtroom, Prosecutor Teresa Hensley read the daughter’s statement: “It hurts me to know my mom could have been there for me and help me. I wish I had a mom I could talk to and hang out with, but that will never happen.”
Circuit Judge Mike Wagner told the daughter that no child should ever suffer the abuse she did and that he wished the court had the power to make her pain go away.
“But now only God and time can do that,” Wagner said.
He then turned to the defendant.
“There are animals out there who will fight to protect their young, and you let this happen to your daughter,” Wagner told Rinehart. “You robbed her of her childhood and she will live with what happened to her for the rest of her life.”
Good for the judge. I’m so happy that he pointed this out to Linda Rinehart.