Huntington, WV – A father who got his young daughter pregnant and forced her to have an abortion won’t get any prison time in West Virginia.
Michael Joe Adkins was arrested in March of 2013 for raping his 11-year-old daughter, and arranging two abortions for her within 15 days, according to WSAZ.
Instead of prison time, Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell gave Adkins five years of probation and 50 years of supervision after his probation is complete, The Herald-Dispatch reported.
In March of 2013, Adkins was indicted on charges of incest, first-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent for raping with his daughter, which eventually impregnated the girl after she turned 12 years old.
He and the girl’s stepmother, Amanda Rea Adkins, also were charged with child neglect creating risk of injury and conspiracy, as part of an abortion and subsequent procedure aimed at covering up therape.
His wife, Amanda Adkins, was the little girl’s stepmother. She was also arrested and pleaded guilty to child neglect. Her sentencing has been postponed multiple times as the court waits to sentence her now-estranged husband.
The indictment said the sexual assaults on the girl took place between October of 2010 and February of 2011.
Prosecutors said Adkins and his wife took his daughter to get an abortion on March 1, 2011, after Adkins impregnated her. Then, after complications, they took her to get her a D&C on March 16, 2011.
The second time around, the parents told the doctors treating her that the little girl was having a miscarriage, police said. They did not advise the doctors performing the D&C of the prior abortion, further endangering the child’s life.
“That point was withheld, which makes it pertinent in her health and her safety,” West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marlene Moore told The Herald-Dispatch. “That’s where the neglect creating risk of injury comes in. The parents neglected to take care of her needs - her basic needs and put her in extreme danger by letting her go through an unnecessary procedure - be put under anesthesia when they knew that that had been performed before.”
Moore said she believed the two procedures were part of efforts to avoid any allegation of incest.
In September of 2015, Adkins entered a Kennedy plea to incest, according to WSAZ. A Kennedy plea allows a conviction without the defendant admitting guilt or explaining his role in a crime.
Adkins told the court he accepted the plea believing he was getting home confinement.
However, Judge Alfred Ferguson said he would not accept home confinement as the sentence at a hearing in February of 2016.
Ferguson allowed Adkins to withdraw his plea, and recused himself from the case.
At that point, Farrell picked up the case, and honored a plea deal reached between assistant prosecutor Kellie Neal and defense attorney Connor Robertson to place Adkins on probation with supervision afterwards.
Farrell said he was not happy with the sentence.
“I’m just going to be blunt: I hope you screw up during those 50 years so I can send you to prison,” he said. “If you violate any of the terms and conditions in the next 50 years, then the court can send you to prison – and I’m hoping that’s the case, because you should go to prison for what you did.”
Neal told The Herald-Dispatch that Adkins got a huge break on his sentencing.
"The facts of this case are a horrendous situation for this victim," she said. "There are obviously a lot of other charges that had he gone to trial, maybe he would have been acquitted, but the state would at this point assume he would have been convicted. We gave him the benefit of the plea agreement."
Adkins has registered as a sex offender in West Virginia.
Adkins' attorney said forensic evaluations and other tests performed on Adkins showed he is a low risk of re-offending.
What do you think the appropriate sentence should be for somebody who rapes their 11-year-old daughter and then endangers her life to cover it up? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.