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WARSAW — A Claypool woman arrested in January on charges of child pornography was sentenced to five years in prison in Kosciusko Superior Court I Thursday, Nov. 7.
Roselyn Beatrice Burkhart, 39, 107 N. Rebecca St., Claypool, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography, level 5 felonies.
In September 2018, an Indiana State Police officer received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children through Facebook of child pornography that was uploaded in June.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the officer found that child pornography had been obtained by someone at 107 N. Rebecca St., Claypool. The pornography involved children under the age of 12 and included photos of sexual conduct while in bondage and sexual photos involving bestiality.
On Jan. 17, the officer served the search warrant to a man and woman at the residence. The woman was identified as Burkhart. Through interviews, the officer determined that the pornography was on Burkhart’s device.
Officers searched Burkhart’s cell phone and found child pornography. Burkhart admitted that she downloaded the items from the Internet to the man’s Kik account. She then sent the downloaded images to her cell phone by using the man’s Facebook Messenger and sent the images to her Facebook Messenger and her devices.
Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz described the crimes Burkhart is charged with as “repulsive and nauseating.”
Burkhart’s initial charges included two counts of child exploitation, level 4 felonies. Voelz clarified in court that no deal was made to dismiss the child exploitation charges.
Further investigation, Voelz explained, showed that Burkhart did not create or disseminate the pornography but rather downloaded the photos to her devices for her own viewing.
“She pleaded guilty to the crimes she committed,” Voelz said. “She was not guilty of counts I and II.”
Burkhart’s attorney, Doug Lemon, pointed out that Burkhart has no criminal history. Although the photos were “vile,” Lemon said, “at least they were not images that she was producing.” Lemon told Judge David Cates that Burkhart feels “immeasurable shame and humiliation, not just for herself but for her husband and children.”
“There are no words for me to portray the feelings of sorrow, embarrassment and remorse,” Burkhart said. “I am committed to assuring myself and my family that this won’t happen again. I’m truly sorry.”
“Let’s review,” Judge Cates said to Burkhart. “You knowingly possessed a photograph of a child engaging in bestiality. A child victim.”
Cates said Burkhart continued to engage in illegal conduct after her plea.
“What you’ve done here is simply not acceptable,” Cates said.
Cates sentenced Burkhart to five years at the Indiana Department of Corrections. He suspended two years of that sentence and ordered the suspended portion of the sentence to be served on formal probation.
“You will continue counseling to deal with a sick addiction,” Cates ordered.
Burkhart was ordered to register as a sex offender and to comply with all sex offender rules. She was given three days of jail time credit and ordered to provide passwords to any online accounts to the probation department.
As Burkhart was being led from the courtroom, she could be heard sobbing, “I”m not gonna be okay. I’m not gonna be okay.”