Monday, December 5, 2016

Cheerleader

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Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck pleaded guilty to fourth-degree statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy earlier this week after begin indicted last year on charges of rape, unlawful sexual contact and providing alcohol to minors.

Shattuck must register as a sex offender and may be ordered to serve up to 15 years in jail when she is sentenced in August.

Shattuck, 48, was accused in November of sexually abusing one of her son’s classmates, including performing oral sex on him in a rented vacation house in Bethany Beach.

She was seated at a trial table with her attorney, Eugene Maurer, and showed no obvious emotion as stood from her seat when Judge E. Scott Bradley entered the courtroom. The judge turned the pages of the plea agreement and then posed series of questions.

“Did you commit the offense you are pleading guilty to?” he asked.

“Yes,” Shattuck said.

A number of other charges, including more serious third-degree rape counts, were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Michael W. Modica, a former Delaware prosecutor, said the deal was consistent with precedent saying the sentencing guidelines called for up to two years in prison – a recommended sentence not binding on the judge. Modica, now a defense attorney said:

“I don’t think she was treated any differently because she was a woman…” “She’s looking at a pretty serious potential sentence.”

As part of the plea, Shattuck agreed to no unsupervised contact with children, except her own, and to have DNA and HIV tests as well as a mental health evaluation that will include “sexual disorder counseling.”

Modica added that the most serious consequence of her plea is that she’ll have to register as a sex offender for 25 years in Delaware. And because she lives in Maryland, Delaware police will notify Maryland officials, who will consider whether she needs to register under Maryland law.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Baltimore County District Court, the illicit affair began in May 2014 when Shattuck began a flirtation with the boy on the social networking site Instagram. The boy’s identity was not disclosed in press reports about the case.

What began as flirting crossed the line into physical contact and then rape when Shattuck took the boy out of school to kiss him in the back seat of her Escalade.

Then, over Labor Day weekend while on vacation with her children at Bethany Beach, she performed oral sex on him twice according to investigators.

At the time of the assault, Shattuck was in the process of separation from her husband so she could forged “a new, independent identity” according to The Baltimore Sun. But rape charges “left Shattuck’s carefully crafted image as a devoted mother and charity worker in tatters.”

According to The Baltimore Sun:

“Shattucks’ divorce, which ended a 17-year marriage, was finalized days after a nine-count indictment against her was unsealed in November.

Custody arrangements for their three children have not been publicized, but Modica said her ex-husband could use the rape conviction as ammunition in any dispute.”

Shattuck, who was free on an $84,000 bond, pleaded guilty the day before a hearing that was to be the last pretrial hearing before the case headed to trial.

After the hearing, Shattuck stared at a half-dozen reporters seated in the benches before retiring to the trial table where she stood until one of her lawyers led her into the public gallery where she signed some paperwork before being led by her attorney to private room to talk.

Outside, some onlookers waited on the pavement in front of the courthouse eager to see who the news cameras were waiting for.

Shattuck, surrounded by a group of women supporters who had been with her all day, emerged from the building and crossed the street to a waiting SUV. Shattuck ignored questions as she entered the SUV and drove off.

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