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Woman Could Get 14 Years For Failing To Stop Boyfriend From Beating Child

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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A west suburban woman could go to prison for the next 14 years for failing to stop her boyfriend from beating her daughter, who was under 2 years old at the time.

As WBBM Newsradio’s JoAnn Genette reports, Cathleen Koch, 30, pleaded guilty a couple of months ago to a felony domestic battery charge. Her sentencing hearing began on Thursday.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s JoAnn Genette reports


Koch and her boyfriend, James Cooper, were living in a motel in St. Charles on Oct. 27, 2010, when Cooper – high on heroin – attacked Koch’s 23-month-old daughter, Molly, according to published reports. The child was struck at least 10 times and slammed face-first into a bed.

Doctors say the child suffered brain trauma and now has a difficult time walking and talking. She also has limited use of her right arm, according to multiple published reports.

Koch did not participate in the attack, but was charged for failing to intervene and stop her boyfriend. She also lied to police about his whereabouts, published reports said.

Koch pleaded guilty in the case on July 5. Cooper, formerly of Elburn, also pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a child back in March, and is now serving 15 years in prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.

On the first day of the sentencing hearing Thursday, testimony revolved around another child, Koch’s 10-monht-old son. Koch’s mother, Carrie Johnson, testified that her daughter is “wonderful” with the small boy, the Kane County Chronicle reported.

Koch cannot see the boy without adult supervision, the newspaper reported.

Also at the hearing, Dr. Eva Alessia of Rush-Copley Medical Group testified that Molly is recovering, but profoundly disabled and unlikely ever to live independently or hold a job beyond “Wal-Mart or Meijer as a greeter,” the Chronicle reported.

The sentencing hearing is set to resume at 9 a.m. next Wednesday, the Chronicle reported.