KUNA — Courtney Sue Reschke, 35, who had sex with eight underage boys over a 30-day period last fall, will be eligible to seek parole after three years, according to the sentence handed down by 4th District Judge Ron Wilper.
Prosecutor Jean Fisher asked Wilper to send Reschke to prison for 25 years. Defense attorney Jonathan Loschi asked that his client be given a retained judgment sentence that could allow her to be released from prison after serving just a few months.
Fisher asked the judge to treat Reschke the same as if a man had been convicted of sexually abusing eight underage girls. She argued that female sex offenders are treated more leniently than men and that boys having sex with women are somehow considered lucky.
I want you to send a loud and clear message, Fisher told the judge. I know there is real harm and we need to protect society.
Loschi said Reschke, who had no previous criminal record, deserved to be punished, but he said she would benefit from going through sex offender treatment.
Loschi told the court that a divorce, a bankruptcy filing and money problems led Reschke along a self-destructive track leading to a brick wall.
Reschke will have to live with the harm she did to the victims and her own three children, who were taken from her custody and placed with other family members, he said.
Shes going to have a long row to hoe if shes ever to get custody of her children back, Loschi said.
Reschke wrote a statement to the court but was too distraught to read it. Her attorney read it for her.
I acted stupidly and recklessly, she wrote in saying she failed in her responsibility to act like an adult. I want the court to know I committed these crimes and deserve to be punished.
Wilper told Reschke that he observed her during the sentencing hearing, which lasted more than four hours. He told her that she seemed remorseful and that he believed she would benefit from treatment.
He also noted that she had been a law-abiding citizen until the events for which she was arrested occurred.
Wilper also said he found the witness impact statements written by parents of the boys who were abused thoughtful and compelling. The parents reported that their sons began having behavior problems after the abuse took place; became isolated and socially awkward; had trouble in school; and suffered from anxiety and depression.
I know that you know that you did wrong and that youll be punished, Wilper said before announcing his sentence.
He disagreed with Fisher, drawing a distinction between boys abused by women and girls abused by men.
There is a difference. I have a problem articulating what the difference is, he said.
Fisher said she was disappointed that Reschke wasnt given a longer sentence, but glad that Reschke is going to prison.
There are kids who all went to school together. The harm that was done is hard to quantify, Fisher said.
Loschi declined to comment after the hearing.
Reschke pleaded guilty in May to six counts of lewd conduct with a child and pleaded no contest to seven counts of providing alcohol to a minor. Under a no-contest plea, also known as an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but agrees the prosecution has enough evidence to convict. It carries the same legal weight as a conviction.
The mother of three had faced up to life in prison on each of the lewd conduct counts. She was originally charged with 11 felony counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16 and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor between the ages of 16 and 17.
The additional charges were dropped in exchange for her guilty pleas.
Authorities said Reschke had sex with the boys, friends of her 14-year-old daughter, starting around Halloween at her home on North Sourwood Avenue.
Some of the activity took place in front of her children, and she provided alcohol to some of the victims before having sex with them.
John Sowell: 377-6423