Babysitter gets 30 years for child porn

April 1, 2009 6:23:49 PM PDT
A baby sitter who procured young children for her sexual-predator boyfriend to film and sexually abuse was sentenced to 30 years in prison in what the judge called a 'sociopathic' child pornography case. Dorothy Prawdzik, 45, undressed and posed her young female charges, and in one case even held the camera while the boyfriend tried to penetrate a 10-month-old girl. Co-defendant John Jackey Worman ejaculated on the baby and compiled a movie of the encounter with the infant, prosecutors said.

Worman and Prawdzik also took part in a three-way sexual encounter with a 10-year-old girl. They filmed abuse so disturbing that jurors at the fall trial at one point asked for a break from viewing it.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel, in sentencing Prawdzik on Wednesday, said the offenses "couldn't be worse."

He noted that Prawdzik left four of her own children to live in Worman's filthy basement despite knowing he was a sexual predator. She continued to live elsewhere during those five years to collect government support checks for them.

"The defendant betrayed her own children," Stengel said. "She held out her own relationship with Mr. Worman as more important to her than her responsibilities to her children."

Prawdzik, of Drexel Hill, was convicted at trial of 15 counts of manufacturing child pornography.

Prosecutors sought an 80-year sentence, 20 years for each of four female victims, while the defense asked for a break from the approximately 20-year guideline range.

The same federal jury convicted Worman of 57 child-pornography counts; he is also charged in state court with sexually assaulting the children. His sentencing has not been scheduled pending psychiatric evaluations.

Prosecutors say Prawdzik also sexually assaulted at least two children.

Stengel, in ordering an earlier evaluation of Prawdzik, called the offenses "extraordinarily sociopathic."

The two psychiatric reports on her show no specific mental-health diagnosis, making her actions even more perplexing, Stengel noted Wednesday.

Defense lawyer Steven Laver says Prawdzik feared Worman, with whom she has a child. The judge himself noted that she was the victim of incest as a child and lived in a house described by county officials as "filthy and incestuous."

"I was hurt when I was a child. Then my husband passed away and left me with five kids," Prawdzik said. "Yes, I was selfish. I was grieving. I wasn't thinking clearly."

She said she met Worman six to nine months later, and that he soon started threatening her.

"He threatened to kill me. I was afraid. So yes, I did what he told me to do," she said Wednesday.

Prawdzik has gotten her GED in the two years she has spent in prison since her arrest, her lawyer said.

The crimes charged in the indictment took place from 1997 to 2002.

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