A 24-year-old Ohio woman charged with raping her 10-month-old son and sharing the videotaped assault with her boyfriend is being held behind bars tonight on a $1 million bond.
Ashley Jessup of Dublin, a city about 20 miles northwest of Columbus, was arrested on Aug. 31 on two counts of rape of a child under 13 years old, one count of endangering children and one count of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor.
A Franklin County grand jury indicted Jessup on the charges. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
According to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O'Brien, Jessup sexually abused her baby at her Camden Circle home on Aug. 30. She allegedly performed sexual acts on the baby, which she videotaped and emailed to a boyfriend in Battle Creek, Mich.
"They were sending sexually explicit material back and forth to each other," O'Brien told The Huffington Post. "She then, at his suggestion, sent a video of her engaging in sexual conduct with [her son], along with some other material that was both sexually explicit and unusual."
A former girlfriend of the man discovered the video on Aug. 31 and called the Michigan State Police.
"The state police saw some of the material [and] then contacted the Columbus police and did a search warrant here," O'Brien said. "They seized her computer, her video camera and some other things."
Following Jessup's arrest, her infant son was taken into protective custody. Jessup's mother, who has not been identified, reportedly told WBNS-TV that she was shocked and humiliated by her daughter's arrest.
The baby's father, Jonathon Vasquez, 19, also of Battle Creek, is now trying to get custody of his son.
"I honestly don't understand how anyone can do it to their own child. That's disgusting; it's ridiculous," Vasquez told WWMT.
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According to O'Brien, Franklin County Children's Services currently has custody of the child.
"It is temporary while they do an investigation [to determine] where best to place the child," he said.
Jessup will enter a plea during her arraignment on Monday. If ultimately convicted, she faces a lengthy stay behind bars.
"For the alleged sexual conduct between her and the 10-month-old, the penalty is 15 to life," O'Brien said. "There are two counts, and if they are stacked she could get 30 to life. Throw in the [other charges] and her maximum sentence could be 46 years to life."
O'Brien said authorities in Michigan are investigating potential charges against Jessup's boyfriend, who has not yet been publicly identified.
"I have seen a lot of cases over the years and had other similar cases, but the child has typically been 3 or 4 or 5 years old. I have never seen [a rape victim] 10 months old," the veteran prosecutor said.
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