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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Caldwell Adoptive mom sentenced for child abuse The judge says the woman stood by and helped husband beat adopted kids for 7 years

Caldwell Adoptive mom sentenced for child abuse
The judge says the woman stood by and helped husband beat adopted kids for 7 years.
BY KRISTIN RODINE - krodine@idahostatesman.com
Copyright: © 2010 Idaho Statesman
Published: 01/12/10

Kekoa Glenn Gaunavinaka will be sentenced Feb. 11 on two counts of felony injury to a child and one count of lewd conduct with a minor.

A jury found him guilty of sexually molesting a child from the time she was 11 until after her 13th birthday, and Gaunavinaka subsequently pleaded guilty to two child-injury charges for beating his adopted children.

Similar stories:
Caldwell man gets life for abusing kids
Caldwell mom gets up to 10 years in prison for allowing, abetting kids’ abuse
Caldwell man gets life sentence for molesting young girl, beating adopted kids
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Kaylynn Gaunavinaka, now going by her maiden name of Durham, could serve up to 10 years in prison, or she could be released on probation in as little as six months.
That's because 3rd District Judge Bradly Ford retained jurisdiction on the case for 180 days so Gaunavinaka, 35, can receive treatment and assessment in the state prison system. At the end of that time, Ford could release her on probation or order her to complete her prison sentence of three to 10 years for felony injury to a child.
Her ex-husband, Kekoa Gaunavinaka, is expected to face a much stiffer sentence when Ford decides his fate in February. Ford said the husband's offenses were more egregious than the wife's, but Kaylynn Gaunavinaka prolonged and assisted in the torment of the couple's three adopted children.
"These children could have been rescued at any time, (through) any effort from you," Ford told the sobbing woman Monday. "Instead they suffered seven years of unthinkable abuse, emotional and physical."
The three children, now ages 9 to 13, were recovering from an abusive home life when the Gaunavinakas adopted them in September 2001, Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin said.
The children longed for love and stability, she said, "but what they got was a father who horrifically beat them and sexually tortured them, and a mother who went along with it, who covered it up, who threatened the children."
"She told her sons, 'stand up straight while he's beating you,'" Kallin said. "She put makeup on their bruises to cover them."
Although most of the beating and other abuse came from their adoptive father, the children also reported that their mother battered them.
Defense attorney Aaron Knox said his client was abused by her husband and was too afraid to step forward and get help for the children. He also cited a lack of self-esteem and said she is a good candidate for treatment and rehabilitation.
Kaylynn Gaunavinaka recently divorced her husband and gave up legal rights to the children, who have moved out of state to live with a family that is in the process of adopting them, Kallin said.
At her sentencing hearing, Gaunavinaka gave a brief statement apologizing to the kids, who did not attend. "I am so sorry for not doing my part as a mother and for not protecting my children," she said.
Kristin Rodine: 377-6447

Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/01/12/1038105/caldwell-mom-sentenced-for-child.html?story_link=email_msg#ixzz0qxei9bmG

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