Former Ohio Daycare Worker Pleads Guilty to Raping 4 Children in Her Care
An Ohio woman pleaded guilty last Thursday to four counts of rape after authorities say she raped four children in 2013 at the daycare center at which she worked, her defense attorney confirms to PEOPLE.
Heather Koon, 27, pleaded guilty to the rape charges last week during an appearance in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, defense attorney Daniel Wightman says.
Koon also pleaded guilty to four counts each of kidnapping and pandering obscenity involving a minor, three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and one count each of tampering with evidence and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, Wightman says.
Koon raped four children at ABC Kidz Child Care in Elyria, Ohio. She also took obscene photos of children at the facility and at another day care in Amherst, where she worked after leaving ABC Kidz, investigators have said, according to the Chronicle-Telegram. She initially pleaded not guilty in December of 2013, court records show.
Wightman said she did this to appease her fiancé, convicted sex offender James Osborne, 37, according to the Chronicle-Telegram.
ABC Kidz Child Care declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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During a separate court appearance last week, Osborne pleaded guilty to four counts of complicity to rape, complicity to kidnapping and pandering obscenity involving a minor, a Loraine County Court official confirms to PEOPLE. He also pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, failure to register as a sex offender and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, the official confirms.
Koon and Osborne face at least 15 years in prison for their charges, according to the Chronicle-Telegram – though they could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if a judge later determines they are sexually violent predators.
They will be required to register as sex offenders if they are released, according to the Chronicle-Telegram.
“We are hopeful that at the end of the day the judge recognizes that Heather to a great extent felt compelled to be involved in this activity,” Wightman said, according to the paper. “But she does have a lot of remorse about it.”
Osborne “can’t take back what happened and is sincerely regretful for what he has done,” his attorney, Kreig Brusnahan, said, according to the paper.
“Hopefully they get nothing less than life,” the father of one victim, who was 2 years old when Koon abused her, told the Chronicle-Telegram after the hearing. “I never realized creatures like this exist.”