- Associated Press - Monday, July 4, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A Williston mother of four and her boyfriend have been sentenced on child abuse charges.

Daniel Kempton, 25, pleaded guilty to four counts of child abuse and ingesting a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years in prison, the Williston Herald reported (https://bit.ly/29ilntl ).

And Stephanie Johnsrud, 31, was accused of exposing her children to drugs, leaving them in the care of Kempton, who used a kitchen spoon to administer punishment, and not getting help for her son’s fractured bones. She was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation and given credit for the 47 days she had spent in jail.

Judge David Nelson accepted the plea deal presented by attorneys Thursday, but not before expressing concern over the prison terms stipulated by the agreement.

“I feel the sentence is inappropriately light … but I have to defer to (those involved) about what they think is appropriate and what they think they can prove,” Nelson said. “I can think of no worse crime than abusing people who are vulnerable and in your care.”

Williams County prosecutor Sandy Jones said Johnsrud’s cooperation played a role in determining a sentence recommendation.

Johnsrud told Nelson that she is in therapy, has a job and speaks to her children on the phone.

Kempton was arrested last year at the home he shared with Johnsrud after authorities discovered fresh bruises on Johnsrud’s children. Prosecutors said a 3-year-old boy also suffered several fractured bones and no medical attention was sought for the child.

Authorities said tests showed a 3-month-old daughter had been exposed to marijuana and methamphetamine. Johnsrud’s 6-year-old daughter tested positive for marijuana, authorities said.


Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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