James Bitner, 35, and Jennifer Collett, 29, both of Combs, appeared in Perry Circuit Court Thursday morning where a 15-year prison sentenced was probated for a period of five years following last month’s guilty pleas on three counts each of first-degree criminal abuse, a Class D felony punishable up to five years in prison.
Following his indictment in May 2010, Bitner had been facing 17 counts of first-degree rape, seven counts of first-degree sodomy, 22 counts of incest, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of first-degree criminal abuse. Collett was facing 12 counts each of first-degree rape and incest. They were accused of having sexually abused or raped the children, all of whom were under the age of 12, in 2008 and 2009.
All of the charges against them, with the exception of three counts each of criminal abuse, were dismissed in accordance with the plea agreement announced last month.
According to the sentence handed down on Thursday, in exchange for their pleas both Bitner and Collett will serve a total of five years of supervised probation, the duration of which will come with a bevy of conditions, including random drug testing with a minimum of one drug test per week for the first year of their probation. They will also be required to attend two Narcotics Anonymous or Lifeline meetings each week, completed 500 hours of community service with the Perry County PRIDE program and have no contact with the victims.
If either Bitner of Collett violate the terms of their probation, they could face up to 15 years in prison.
They were both credited with enough days in custody to be released from jail on Thursday.
Read more: Hazard Herald (KY) – Couple sentenced to probation in criminal abuse case