A federal judge has sentenced an Indiana woman to 24 years in prison for selling her infant for sex, all the while asking the prosecutor if that sentence wasn’t too light.
On Wednesday, Judge Rudy Lazano asked both the prosecutor and the defense attorney whether the sentence for 25-year-old Natisha Hillard wasn’t too light considering that 39-year-old Christopher Bour, the man sentenced for paying Hillard to have sex with her infant, received life plus 55 years for his crimes.
“I’m worried about what message that sends,” Lozano said.
Hillard is charged with selling her infant for sex to Bour and recording it, starting from the time the child was 4 months old until the time the child was 18 months old.
Lozano said “In all honesty, much of the evidence in here is very disgusting.”
Initially, Hillard faced the same mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years that Bour faced. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster filed a motion, however, to reduce the minimum for her cooperation in testifying against Bour and leading to his guilty plea.
“She wouldn’t be facing this 30-year mandatory minimum had she not been truthful with law enforcement from the start,” Koster said.
Of course, when speaking about Bour’s sentence in court in that trial, Koster said “there are some crimes so horrible that the defendant doesn’t deserve a second chance.”
Hillard’s lawyer Visvaldis Kupsis argued that the woman, who has a “complicated psychological background” and an IQ of 55, “puts her in the mildly mentally retarded range.”
“She’s damaged,” Kupsis told the judge.