MEXICO, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney's office said Monday that a woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex crimes.
Stephanie Cottrell, 37, of Mexico pleaded guilty to eight felonies related to child sex abuse. Cottrell is accused of having sexual contact with a 5-year-old between 2016 and 2017, as well as not caring for an infant child.
"Stephanie Cottrell took advantage of her position in the home as a mother when the children didn't have a mother of their own to care for them," Audrain County Jacob Shellabarger said in a press release.
A release from Shellabarger's office shows the children were removed from the home and adopted by a new family. The prosecuting attorney said Cottrell injured the children physically and emotionally.
"Although Cottrell pleaded guilty to these charges today, to serve a 20-year sentence in prison for these crimes, the victims, their family and our community continue to live with the after-effects of Cottrell's actions," Shellabarger said.