A grandmother in Ohio was sentenced to four life sentences without the possibility of parole after being convicted for raping her own grandchildren. Judge William T. Marshall said after 19 years serving on the bench he has never seen anyone more evil than 53-year-old Edwina Louis. Her four victims were often tied up for weeks at a time; she would only untie them long enough to go to the restroom or take online classes.
This grandmother sat through testimony after testimony showing no remorse for the pain and mental anguish her four grandchildren, all under 12-years-old, suffered. The trial lasted nearly a week as stories of abuse, torture and rape of one boy and three girls were presented to the court. The jury deliberated less than six hours before convicting Louis on all counts.
The children described years of abuse. They discussed being tied up for long periods of time and rarely being fed. They were strapped down with chains and ropes and were beaten with paddles and belts. Both of the girls told the court they were forced to stand against the wall for hours with arms outstretched; if they put their hands down they were slapped and beaten. The children were forced to starve many days while the freezer and refrigerator were kept locked with the keys securely around the neck of the adults in the home.
In 2012 and 2013, Child Protective Services received at least four complaints about this family. They never followed through by checking on the children. Child Protective Services only stepped in to help after the nine-year-old girl told her online teacher about the abuse she and her siblings were enduring. Four days later the children were removed from their grandmother’s custody.
The children’s grandmother, biological mother and her boyfriend were all arrested. Louis received four life sentences; the mother, Bobbi Sue Pack, was sentenced to 10 years and her boyfriend Juan Sanchez received 25 years. The children have all been placed with a foster family and are reportedly doing well. Pat Apel, Scioto County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, said:
If there is a bright spot in all of this, it is the transformation we have seen from the kids. Maybe now, they have a chance.
Studies suggest that survivors of childhood sexual trauma are at high risk of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They are also more likely to suffer from suicide, depression and other mental health issues. One study showed that childhood rape survivors have a 52 percent chance of suffering lifetime depression compared to non-victims. They are also at a greater risk for developing eating disorders, becoming abusers of drugs and alcohol as well as failing to establish and maintain healthy relationships later in life.
Rape is a devastating trauma for anyone to experience. Regardless of the circumstances, it can take a long time to move forward and truly feel “better” again. Sadly, even after some feel like they have recovered, certain triggers can quickly bring them right back to the scene of the crime. Although the trauma gets easier to manage with time, recovery for most survivors lasts a lifetime.
Even if the recovery does not last a lifetime for these young victims, their grandmother will be in jail for the duration. She was convicted on four counts of rape, child endangerment and kidnapping for abusing her own grandchildren. According to the prosecutor, Edwina Louis showed no signs of remorse but “got what she deserved – four consecutive life sentences” without the opportunity for parole.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Image Credit: Brooke LaValley