Wife pleads guilty to false report, husband's sexual exploitation of a minor case still pending

Becky Campbell • Updated Sep 10, 2018 at 10:35 PM

A Jonesborough man charged with sexual exploitation of a minor is still negotiating a plea agreement offered by state prosecutors, but his wife pleaded guilty Monday to filing a false police report for allegedly lying about her knowledge of the case.

April Plasschaert, 33, pleaded guilty to the charge before Criminal Court Judge Lisa Rice. The plea, worked out between defense attorney Jason Arthur and Assistant District Attorney Erin McArdle, called for Plasschaert to spend two years in prison, but that was suspended to time served. She will be on probation for two years.

Plasschaert was arrested in May along with her husband, Brian Plasschaert, 35, 217 Price Road. He was charged with four counts of solicitation of a minor, two counts of solicitation to observe sexual conduct, promoting the gathering of minors and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

Investigators said Brian Plasschaert and a child exchanged numerous text messages, some which included sexually explicit comments and references to various sex acts.

According to a press release after the couple’s arrest, investigators said Brian Plasschaert “implied in several text messages that he would pay or reward the juvenile to perform sexual acts. Plasschaert also suggested places to perform the sexual acts and claimed to have nude photos of another juvenile. He also sent the juvenile a pornographic video.”

During April Plasschaert’s plea to filing a false report, McArdle said the woman initially denied any knowledge of text messages between her husband and the juvenile.

“She denied she knew about any type of text communications with this juvenile, but it was later revealed she, in fact, talked to her sister-in-law about the conversations over the previous couple of months,” McArdle told the judge.

With that information in hand, investigators interviewed April Plasschaert again and “she said what she told her sister-in-law was made up. However, later that day the juvenile was able to hand over those text messages to show there were, in fact, inappropriate texts.”

After out-of-court discussions between McArdle and Brian Plasschaert’s attorney, Jonathan Minga, that case was reset for Oct. 9.

“We’re going to set up a meeting with (District Attorney) General (Ken) Baldwin to try to reach a resolution,” McArdle said. If the parties can’t reach an agreeable resolution, the case will be set for trial.

Brian Plasschaert is free on $1,500 bond while his case is pending.

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