GREENFIELD — The prosecutor plans to ask that two felony counts of neglect stand for a woman convicted of failing to report child abuse, despite a state law allowing the charges to be treated as misdemeanors at sentencing.
A jury found Rebecca Spencer, 48, of New Palestine, guilty of two felony counts of neglect and a misdemeanor count of failure to report at the conclusion of a two-day trial Wednesday. The charges stemmed from allegations she knew her husband was molesting children but didn’t report it.
Michael Spencer, whom Spencer has since divorced, was sentenced in early October to 100 years in prison for child molest. Two of his victims confided in Rebecca Spencer that her husband was abusing them but later recanted their stories. Before her arrest, Spencer told investigators she believed the children had made the story up because both were known to lie.
Spencer is now in the Hancock County Jail awaiting her sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 22 in Hancock Circuit Court. She faces up to six years if the neglect charges are treated as Class D felonies.
A provision under Indiana law, however, provides misdemeanor treatment for the majority of Class D felonies, which constitute the lowest class of felony charges.
If the charges are reduced to Class A misdemeanors for sentencing purposes, Spencer could walk away with no jail time.