UPDATE: Upland Woman Sentenced to 80 Years for Prostituting Two Young Daughters
An Upland mother who sold her two young daughters into prostitution on Craigslist has been sentenced to a minimum of 80 years in prison.
Michelle Randall, 36, was sentenced in Buffalo County District Court Wednesday to a minimum of 50 years in prison for one count of sexual assault of a child -- a Class 2 felony -- and 15 to 20 years for each of two counts of possession of child pornography -- Class 3 felonies.
Her sentences will run consecutively. Judge John Icenogle gave her credit for the 272 days she has already served.
Randall was convicted of the three felony charges last November after initially pleading 'no contest.'
Last May, Randall placed a personal ad on Craigslist offering female companionship in the Kearney area, then offered the sexual services of her 14-year-old daughter to an undercover officer posing as a man answering the ad. She also arranged for multiple men to have sex with her 7-year-old daughter in exchange for cash on several occasions.
That's something Buffalo County Attorney Shawn Eatherton says he can't imagine a parent doing to the one person they're supposed to protect.
"We do not put them in harms way, we do not expose them to sexual abuse, we do not expose them to people that may harm them," he said, "and when somebody does that, it's an aberration, and those people need to be held accountable to the highest standard. We should really not hand out mercy to the people that prey on our children or who assist those who prey on our children."
Randall was convicted of nine similar felony counts -- including five counts of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct by a minor, two counts of human trafficking and two counts of child abuse -- last November in Franklin County after making a plea deal.
Randall's attorney said the plea deal was the best possible option for her client to avoid possible federal charges and additional charges in four other counties where the crimes occurred.
"The reason really that she decided to enter into this agreement is that it resolved all of those [possible charges] all in one fell swoop essentially, rather than potentially having trials in five different counties, as well as federal court," attorney Tana Fye said.
Five men are also charged in the case for allegedly having sex with the young girls.
Logan Roepke, 22, of McCook; Donald Grafe, 37, of Columbus; Shad Chandler, 41, and Brian McCarthy, 33, both of Lincoln; and 28–year–old Alex Rahe, of Omaha, are each charged with first–degree sexual assault of a child.
Roepke and Chandler were both convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in separate courtrooms Tuesday, after entering 'no contest' and 'guilty' pleas, respectively. Chandler initially pleaded 'not guilty,' but changed his plea Tuesday.
Roepke will be sentenced in Buffalo County District Court Feb. 28. Chandler's sentencing is set for April 2 in Lancaster County District Court.
As for Randall, the mother of four has had three of her children taken away from her and placed in protective custody.
"Her children have been placed in foster care, and so they're in foster homes here in Nebraska right now," Fye said.
Randall will be eligible for parole in approximately 38 years, at the age of 74.
She will be sentenced in Furnas and Franklin Counties next month.