“The mother of three children who were allegedly sexually abused while the family lived in squalid motels and behind a storefront at Merle Hay Mall has been sentenced to spend up to 30 years in prison because she did nothing to stop the alleged abuse.
Kijua Beaudrie, 35, pleaded guilty in September to three counts of neglecting a dependent person. Her husband, James Beaudrie, 37, faces a January trial on nine charges of sexual abuse and three counts of child endangerment.
Polk County prosecutor Frank Severino said Kijua Beaudrie “not only knew that the sexual abuse was going on … but at times actually allowed it to continue” by taking her other children and placing them in a different room when the alleged abuse would occur. Prosecutors say Kijua Beaudrie lied to authorities when they began to investigate her husband because she was “determined to make her marriage work.”
Several of the Beaudries’ nine children reportedly wrote now-sealed letters to Polk County District Judge Scott Rosenberg asking that their mother not be sent to prison.
“That’s ironic, that they’re standing up for her at a time when she never stood up for them,” Severino said in court.”
Children love their parents, even when they are abusing them, or even if the parent does not love the child. With a child-like innocence, they are quick to forgive. It is perfectly normal for her children to feel as they do, but society cannot allow the forgiveness and love of a child to dictate laws which protect those very children.
“Defense attorney Laura Lockwood argued Thursday that Kijua Beaudrie’s low self-esteem due to post-traumatic stress disorder from Beaudrie’s own childhood sexual abuse could have made it more difficult for her to come forward before the couple were arrested in April.”
Low self-esteem and PTSD are common in the men who rape and abuse children. If we excuse the mother for not protecting her child from a rapist, we must also excuse the rapist.
“Kijua Beaudrie has been living at a woman’s halfway house since July and has focused on rebuilding her relationship with her children, according to court testimony. She has taken life skills classes and participated in 90 minutes per week of therapy.”
Women who allow child sexual abuse are part of the root of child sexual abuse.
“She was isolated, she was controlled,” Beacon of Life case manager Julie Bardin said of Beaudrie in court. “She had no opinion, and she was threatened many times.
“She was victimized, just in a different way.”
No, she said she was determined to make her marriage work and she lied to the authorities when they could have arrested the rapist. She is an enabler and just like in most of the cases of these women –she wanted to keep her man and was willing to sacrifice her children to do so.
“Kijua Beaudrie acknowledged in a statement to Rosenberg that “by me not getting us out of that, I let my children go through hell. And it hurts. I’m not proud of my lack of actions.”
Lockwood said her client “anxiously awaits being able to testify at trial on behalf of her children.”
But Rosenberg ultimately rejected pleas for a suspended sentence and probation, arguing that Kijua Beaudrie had failed to live up to a fundamental responsibility of being a parent.
“The protection of one’s own children is usually something that we as humans take on not only willingly but with commitment and ferocity as the danger increases or is prolonged,” Rosenberg said. Court reports show Beaudrie is obviously intelligent and “could have acted with little danger to yourself on behalf of those who were defenseless, but you did nothing.”
Beaudrie was led quietly from the courthouse in handcuffs. When she enters state prison, she immediately will be eligible for parole.”
Thirty years might be pretty harsh, but she should spend some time in prison, and these laws must be enforced. Women need to know they will be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for failure to protect the innocent.