But when Kosciusko County Superior Court I Judge Duane Huffer handed down the sentence, Baldridge’s demeanor changed. The tears stopped and she appeared angry.
Warsaw Police arrested Baldridge, 29, and her husband, Andrew Baldridge, 44, in December charging them with forcing sex on her husband’s 15-year-old nephew. Both were initially charged with criminal deviant conduct and sexual misconduct with a minor for multiple encounters with the teen from January through as late as September 2011.
Addressing Baldridge saying, “We demand that people who are adults protect children, especially children under the age of 16. You failed to protect a child,” the judge ordered Baldridge remanded to custody to being serving a two-year prison term.
The actual sentence included four years in Indiana Department of Corrections with two days credit served. Huffer suspended two years of the term, which Baldridge will serve on probation and be prohibited from consuming alcohol or even being in a bar. She must also undergo counseling as established by the probation department.
Defense attorney John Barrett asked the court to consider Work Release for Baldridge, who has custody of her two young children. “The purpose of incarceration is to protect society and to rehabilitate offenders,” Barrett told the court. “I think it’s a hard argument to make that the rest of us need protected (from Baldridge). Clearly a criminal act was committed but, the probation report shows she is not likely to reoffend, has a very very limited criminal history … and has custody of her two children. I’m not sure what incarceration would accomplish.”
Baldridge herself made a statement in court calming saying, “I want to apologize for the time I’ve taken up. I’m scared about losing my kids.” She referred to the police statements regarding the case and noted that while “lot of things are incorrect, I never denied my actions.” She then apologized to the boy, “… but mostly to his mother for betraying her trust.”
Judge Huffer responded to a defense request to allow Baldridge to serve her jail term on Work Release. He gave her until Aug. 9 to apply and, if she qualifies, he would modify the sentence. Although Baldridge was ordered remanded to custody of the Kosciusko County Sheriff, she and her mother left the courtroom and the Justice Building.
On July 11, Baldridge, now living in Milford, pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with an underage relative and agreed to testify against her husband at his trial. Andrew Baldridge is set to go to trail on Sept. 25.