Woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for having sex with 3 teens


A 34-year-old woman was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in jail for having sexual relations with three teen-age boys in her Columbia apartment last year.

Howard Circuit Judge James Dudley sentenced Karen Marie Hector as part of a plea agreement in August on charges of perverted sexual practices and three sexual offenses.

The incidents -- involving boys who were 13, 15 and 16 -- occurred in Hector's Stevens Forest Road apartment between June and December 1993.

At the hearing, Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Osterman asked Judge Dudley to suspend Hector's sentence in its entirety.

Hector "essentially wanted the opportunity to reunite her family," Ms. Osterman said afterward. "We were asking [Judge Dudley] to be as lenient as he could be."

Hector's children were placed in foster care by the Howard County Department of Social Services after her arrest last winter.

But Assistant State's Attorney Shirley Ripley asked Judge Dudley to give Hector 18 months' jail time, the maximum sentence she could receive under the terms of her plea agreement.

Judge Dudley sentenced Hector to five years in prison for a second-degree sexual offense and then suspended all but 18 months.

He also gave Hector three six-month sentences for perverted sexual practices and two fourth-degree sexual offenses. She will serve the sentences concurrently with the term for the second-degree sexual offense.

Hector could have been sentenced to a total of 32 years for the four charges.

Judge Dudley also ordered Hector to complete five years of supervised probation, undergo counseling and avoid contact with the three victims.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped three additional counts of perverted sexual offenses.

The prosecution previously dropped four counts of child abuse because the boys were never in Hector's custody. To be charged with child abuse, a defendant must have custody of a victim at the time of the incidents.

During an interrogation after her arrest in March, Hector admitted to sexual activity with the boys, prosecutors said.

Police began investigating Hector in February after the principal of Oakland Mills Middle School reported that he had received complaints about her from a parent.

A police investigator learned from the boys that Hector had shown them X-rated videos and would strip or wear see-through lingerie in front of them, prosecutors said.

Some of the incidents occurred when the boys came to Hector's home to play video games with her 11-year-old son, prosecutors said. said. Some incidents happened while Hector's son and her other child, 3, were home.

The investigator first met with the 15-year-old victim, who reported that he had intercourse with Hector three or four times between June and December 1993.

Another boy, 13, told the detective that Hector performed a sex act with him at her home in October 1993, prosecutors said. The third boy, 16, reported that he had intercourse with Hector during the last week of December.

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