The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

May 8, 2014

UPDATED: Mother sentenced for allowing sexual abuse

Piantieri to face prison for failing to protect daughter

CLINTON — District Court Judge Mark Lawson has ordered a woman to serve as much as two years in prison for knowingly permitting the sexual abuse of her daughter.

“You failed to protect your daughter,” Lawson told Trisha Piantieri, 33, Thursday morning.

Piantieri pleaded guilty, via an Alford plea, to a lesser charge of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor, March 28. With an Alford plea, a defendant does not have to admit to the facts of the charge, but agrees a plea is the best option for him or her. This plea came the Friday before her trial was scheduled for a charge of second-degree sexual abuse for aiding and abetting, a Class B felony, carrying as much as 25 years of incarceration.

Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow said Thursday afternoon the decision was made to accept the plea agreement after extensive discussions with the child’s guardian, looking at what was in best interest of the child. He added that it is all too common to see a mother choosing a boyfriend over the well-being of her child.

The state charged Piantieri in September 2013, alleging that she unlawfully and willfully aided and abetted the performance of a sex act with a child younger than 12, between February 2006 and January 2012. Her former boyfriend, Jason Boutwell, 33, was convicted of seven counts of second-degree sexual abuse and 60 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in early March in connection with the case. He was sentenced to serve as much as 75 years, with a mandatory minimum of 52 1/2 years.

Barlow asked Lawson on Thursday morning to follow the recommendation of the pre-sentencing investigation report for no more than two years in prison. However, Defense Attorney Judd Parker made a motion to either have the PSI recommendation stricken from the record or have the entire report redone. He claimed that the investigator showed bias against his client in a comment about it being a shame for the victim.

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