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Local News

Woman pleads guilty to child abuse-related charges

July 15th, 2011 10:15 pm by Brad Hicks

ERWIN — A Unicoi County woman previously charged with neglect and failure to report abuse for having knowledge that her husband was allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with her child pleaded guilty Thursday in Unicoi County Sessions Court.
Sandra Gillespie, 643 Maple Ave., Erwin, pleaded no contest to the two Class-A misdemeanors Thursday. She was sentenced to probation for a period of 11 months, 29 days and was ordered to pay court costs.
She was charged with child neglect and failure to report abuse earlier this year subsequent to the arrest of her husband, Jeremiah Gillespie. He was arrested and charged with rape of a child in February following a month-long investigation by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the affidavit from the UCSD written at the time of Jeremiah Gillespie’s arrest, Gillespie had sexual intercourse with a child under age of 13, with the incident report stating the alleged victim was his stepdaughter.
The affidavit also states that Jeremiah Gillespie, following his arrest, confessed he engaged in sexual intercourse and other sexual acts with the child approximately 10 times, with the alleged acts beginning in April 2009.
Rape of a child is a Class A felony. Jeremiah Gillespie’s case has been bound over to a grand jury, and he remains in the Unicoi County Jail under a $75,000 corporate bond.
He is scheduled to appear in Unicoi County Criminal Court on Aug. 19.

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