GREENFIELD — A jury found Rebecca Spencer guilty of felony neglect Wednesday at the conclusion of a two-day trial in Hancock Circuit Court.
Spencer’s case was closely connected to her ex-husband’s, which concluded earlier this month when Michael Spencer was convicted of child molest and sentenced to 100 years. Spencer was accused of knowing about the abuse but failing to report it.
The jury deliberated for nearly four hours Wednesday before convicting Spencer on all charges – two felony counts of neglect and one misdemeanor count of failure to report.
Spencer admitted early in the investigation that two of her husband’s victims made allegations of sexual abuse, but they later recanted their stories. Both victims, who testified Tuesday, confirmed they told Spencer they were lying after accusing her husband of molest. One of the girls said she went back on her story because Michael Spencer told her she would break up his marriage, and she felt guilty.
Testimony throughout the trial focused on a pattern of dishonesty displayed by the two victims who told Spencer about the abuse.
But the jury concluded Spencer should have erred on the side of caution and made a police report regardless of the girls’ history of lying.