PORTLAND – A woman and a man were sentenced Thursday to spend 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting the mother of the man’s newborn son after a dispute over drugs.
Karla Wilson, 25, and Shawn Batchelder, 27, each received a sentence of 25 years, with all but 10 years suspended, and four years of probation — the maximum penalty allowed under a plea agreement between the prosecutor and the defendants’ attorneys.
In what the prosecutor called one of the most “animalistic” cases she had ever encountered, the victim was beaten and raped with dowels and a golf club for hours just three weeks after undergoing a Caesarean section last summer.
“What happened to you should happen to no human being,” Superior Court Justice Roland Cole told the victim. “It’s outrageous.”
Wilson was in the news earlier this year, after another inmate in the Cumberland County Jail escaped from his maximum-security cell to have sex with her.
Batchelder and the victim were staying at Wilson’s apartment in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood because they wanted to be close to their son, who was in the neonatal unit of Maine Medical Center. There was cocaine and heroin dealing at 218 Park Ave., and all three used drugs before the attack in the early morning of Aug. 17.
Wilson got angry because she believed that Batchelder and the woman had stolen drugs. She threatened and hit both with a dowel and ordered them to remove their clothes so she could see if they had the drugs.
Wilson, who is 4-foot-11 and weighs 100 pounds, according to police documents, hit the woman with a dowel and a golf club.
Deputy District Attorney Meg Elam said Batchelder abandoned the woman to Wilson, who sexually assaulted her before Batchelder did the same.
Elam noted that when Wilson threatened to hurt the woman’s family if she talked to police, Batchelder provided information about her children’s day care center and where her aunts live.
The victim asked Cole to impose more prison time than what was allowed under the plea agreement. She also asked for restitution, saying she could not afford needed counseling.
“The things that have happened to me, I have nightmares every night,” she said.
Elam said she told the victim that the defendants deserved to go to jail forever. But while the victim has been sober, Elam was worried about what would happen at trial, given the woman’s struggles with addiction.
Each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of the highest level of gross sexual assault. Three other counts of gross sexual assault were dismissed for both Batchelder and Wilson. Two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal threatening against Wilson were also dismissed.
Both defendants will be required to register as violent sex offenders for life. Cole did not order them to pay restitution because the victim needs services now and they will not be able to pay until after their release.
Jon Gale, Wilson’s attorney, said her record includes no other incidents of serious or sexual violence. He said that when she is not using drugs, she has the potential to be productive.
Judy Potter, Batchelder’s attorney, said his role was limited and he was suffering from duress and diminished capacity. She noted that a man known as “D” had been in the apartment with a machete, and that when Wilson put a scalpel to the victim’s throat, Batchelder urged Wilson not to hurt her.
Cole said he did not accept the notion that Batchelder was “just a dupe” and described him as enthusiastically switching to the role of sexual predator.
Both defendants apologized in court.
Michael Wilson, the defendant’s father and a retired Air Force colonel, said his daughter is a very sick drug addict and her 10-year sentence will not solve the underlying problem of addiction.
Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: