Three child rape suspects appeared in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Tuesday. The three women are all charged in a disturbing case of human trafficking and you’re going to be footing the bill for their defense.
Law enforcement officials say Magan Richmond, 32, of Lindeman Road in Portsmouth, Tasha Stringer, 37, of Germany Hollow Road in Wheelersburg, and Kathryn McMullen, 36, of Brushy Fork Road in South Webster arranged for multiple children, both boys and girls, between the ages of 3 and 13 to be raped by adults in exchange for drugs and money. It is also alledged that the rapes were captured on video and in photographs.
Officials say the children were removed from situations by Children Services and are now in a safe place. However, local sex abuse victims advocate Rhiannon Gill tells me that, “Children who experience these types of trauma are going to have serious adverse health and lifestyle outcomes. If they are not helped and the abuse continues, they will suffer from mental health issues that will last a lifetime.”
All three women appeared in court before Judge Russell Kegley. Judge Kegley decided that taxpayers will be footing the fill to defend the trio against the charges.
The court found Tasha Stringer to be indigent and waived the $25 fee to apply for a public defender. Richard Wolfson was appointed as her attorney. Magan Richmond also couldn’t scrape together $25 bucks to apply as indigent. The court waived the accused rapist’s application fee and appointed Luke Brazinski as her attorney. Kathryn McMullen was also determined to be too broke to pay for either legal counsel or the fee to apply for a public defender. The court appointed Shawn Stratton as her defense attorney.
Public defenders in Ohio made the news last year by asking to be paid at least $75 per hour for the time spent in and out of court working to defend those who can’t afford counsel. Scioto County pays the attorneys and is then reimbursed for some of their expenses by the State of Ohio. Commissioners had expressed hope that the county’s reimbursement rates would be close to 90% by the end of this year. However, Governor DeWine has recently ordered an across-the-board 20% budget cut to fight the Covid-19 crisis, so the reimbursement plans could change.