LAWRENCEBURG — A grandmother accused of tying up her 3-year-old granddaughter for hours at a time pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge.
Carolyn Case, 66, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal abuse. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended a five-year sentence and said they would object to probation.
Case must also testify against the girl's mother and stepfather, Rebecca and Herbert Medley, in their trials on related charges. They each face a charge of first-degree criminal abuse, the original charge filed against Case.
First-degree criminal abuse is a felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison.
Anderson Circuit Judge Charles Hickman scheduled sentencing for Case on Feb. 18.
Case and the Medleys were arrested in August 2012 after Kentucky State Police investigated an abuse complaint by a child protective services caseworker.
Troopers interviewed Case, who acknowledged that she tied the girl to a bed, and she showed the bed inside her Lawrenceburg home. Case told police that she began tying the girl to the bed with a green curtain sash "at night because she was getting out of bed and getting into things," according to court files. Case also told police that the girl "attempted to leave the house while everyone else was asleep."
Case told police she had seen Rebecca Medley tie the girl to the bed.
Sometimes the girl would be tied from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day.
Case said her granddaughter "spent more time tied up than free," the report said. Case said Rebecca Medley would tie the girl "very tightly" and that the girl's movement "was very impaired and she was not able to escape."
State police took the curtain sash into evidence and took photographs of the bed and the rest of the house. The report said the sash was laced through the arm holes of the girl's shirt and behind her back.
"It was then fastened to her bed using a large horse-collar safety pin," the report said. "The green sash was also used to tie her to a blue booster seat that was fastened to a kitchen chair."
Herbert Medley, citing pretrial publicity, had sought last year to have his trial moved outside of Anderson County. Hickman denied that request.
The Medleys were set to have separate trials next week but those are now postponed. Hickman scheduled a status hearing for Rebecca Medley on Feb. 4 and a status hearing for Herbert Medley on March 4. New trial dates might be set at those hearings.