Police: Woman Raped Toddler She Was Babysitting

Police say a South Dakota woman raped a 4-year-old toddler, and now she’s facing a possible prison sentence. KEVN News reports that 26-year-old Ashlee Goldsmith appeared in court on Friday in association with the incident that allegedly took place at the end of last year. The details surrounding this case haven’t been shared in great detail, but they do indicate that a young female child was sexually penetrated by the woman trusted to care for her.

Ashlee Goldsmith has entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ in association with the charges against her. Prosecutors say that the South Dakota woman, on at least two different occasions, sexually penetrated a 4-year-old toddler that was in her care. She was reportedly babysitting the little girl at the time of the alleged incidents.

The woman’s attorney says that she is currently being held in protective custody, where she has remained since her February arrest on these charges — two counts of first-degree rape of a child. She has been held behind bars on bond in the amount of $150k — an amount that her attorney wants lowered significantly. If lowered down to $25k, as per the request of her attorney, Ashlee Goldsmith could end up walking right out of jail, where she will remain free throughout her trial. However, there have been no reports indicating that her bond will ever be lowered.

This isn’t the first time a female babysitter has been accused of sexually assaulting a child in her care. In 2014, a 15-year-old babysitter was accused of raping two young girls that were in her care. The suspect, who hasn’t been named in any reports, allegedly raped a 6 and 7-year-old girl.

Also in 2014, a 25-year-old woman named Mary Beth Rataic was arrested on allegations that she raped a 10-year-old boy. She was reportedly babysitting the child during three or four different incidents. The child told his mother that he had sex with the woman during those incidents. When she was arrested, the 25-year-old babysitter told authorities that the boy came onto her and that she “told him to stop,” but he didn’t.

During the same year, a Cincinnati woman was charged with at least 15 counts of rape, stemming from incidents that took place while she was babysitting four different children. Barbara Brooks ultimately pleaded guilty to raping three girls and one boy while she was babysitting them. The 64-year-old former foster mother signed a plea deal to avoid life imprisonment on this conviction, however.

In 2009, 19-year-old Cassandra Epperson was arrested on charges of child rape when an 11-year-old boy accused her of having sex with him. The teenage babysitter reportedly coerced the child into sexual contact while she was babysitting him and his five siblings.

As for this latest case out of South Dakota, reports haven’t indicated whether or not the victim has provided any statements about the alleged rape. The 4-year-old toddler was reportedly sexually abused more than once by the woman, so if the child does indeed remember these incidents, her testimony could help in locking Ashlee away for a long time. In fact, if she’s convicted of the two charges against her, she could find herself in prison for the rest of her life. However, other factors in her case could shorten that prison term.

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