CASPER, Wyo. — A Mills woman faces up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to photographing herself sexually abusing two young children and texting the images to a man.
Kelly Kay Turner admitted in court to taking pictures while she molested an 18-month old girl and a young boy. In previous statements to police, Turner claimed that she took the photos at the request of a man living in rural Natrona County.
Turner, 26, entered guilty pleas in Natrona County District Court to charges of manufacturing child pornography and first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to limit their sentencing recommendation to no more than 35 years in prison. Nor will they pursue additional charges related to the case, Assistant District Attorney Joshua Stensaas said.
In addition, Turner would have to testify against a co-defendant if necessary. Stensaas did not identify that person in court. Prosecutors have filed seven charges against Jonathon Cummins, the man who allegedly received the text messages. Sheriff’s investigators say Cummins admitted asking Turner to perform sex acts on the children and send him photographs.
Turner appeared in court wearing shackles and a yellow jail uniform. She appeared to have difficulty as Judge Catherine Wilking pressed her to explain the crimes. Afterward, she wiped her eyes with a tissue.
By pleading guilty, Turner may avoid spending the remainder of her life behind bars. The charges carried a combined maximum prison sentence of 74 years.
In mid-January, Cummins contacted the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office and reported someone had sent three images of child pornography to his cellphone. He originally claimed he didn’t know who had texted the photographs, but later acknowledged the phone number belonged to Turner, according to an investigator’s affidavit.
Authorities say Cummins ultimately admitted to asking Turner to perform sex acts on the children and to send him the images.
Turner made similar statements to investigators. She said Cummins first asked her to send the images some time after Christmas. She didn’t comply until Jan. 13.
The defendant said she took roughly 15 photographs. She claimed she was motivated by her fear of Cummins, the affidavit states.
In March, prosecutors filed charges against Cummins, including conspiring to sexually exploit a child, child pornography possession and soliciting first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. His arraignment is set for next month.
Turner remains held at the Natrona County Detention Center pending her sentencing.