Lexington woman makes Alford plea to child-abuse charges

tpettit@herald-leader.comMarch 14, 2013 

A Lexington woman accused of abusing some of her adopted children by locking them in a dog cage and forcing them to jump off the roof of their home submitted an Alford plea Thursday, according to court documents.

Cheryl Christopher, 52, submitted an Alford plea to two counts of first-degree criminal abuse, two counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is enough evidence to be found guilty.

Christopher had five adopted children living with her but seemed to direct the abuse toward two girls over a period of time, when the girls were 7 to 9 years old, according to previous Herald-Leader articles.

Police were first contacted in June 2011 after the children made statements during therapy sessions about abuse including being nearly suffocated with plastic bags and being padlocked inside their bedrooms for extended periods of time.

Christopher was arrested in July 2011 with her husband, Elisha Christopher, 70. He faces two charges of first-degree criminal abuse, accused of allowing the abuse to occur.

Sentencing for Cheryl Christopher is scheduled for April 4 in Fayette Circuit Court. A status hearing is scheduled Friday for Elisha Christopher.

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