July 21 (Reuters) - The wife of an Ohio National Guardsman was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for trying to cover up her husband’s sexual abuse of three young girls in their care.
At the time of the abuse, Emily Kruse, 37, was participating in an underground network used to send unwanted adopted children from family to family.
A Haitian girl sent to live with Kruse and her husband, Jean Paul Kruse, helped expose the abuse in 2012. In an effort to silence the girl, the Kruses sent her from their home in Marysville, Ohio back to her adoptive family in Idaho.
In June, a Union County Court of Common Pleas judge sentenced Jean Paul Kruse, 42, to life in prison without parole for raping and sexually abusing the three girls. Kruse is appealing his conviction. Emily Kruse subsequently pleaded guilty to intimidating a witness and obstructing justice by trying to cover up the abuse.
The Haitian girl, who went by the name Nita Dittenber at the time, was profiled as part of a Reuters investigation into private “re-homing,” an unregulated practice in which parents transfer custody of children they adopted but no longer wanted to strangers met through the Internet.
Nita, now 19, was not molested by Jean Paul Kruse. She lived with the Kruses for 17 months, from early 2011 until July 2012. Shortly after arriving, Nita told authorities, the younger Kruse children confided in her that they were being molested by Jean Paul. At the time, Jean Paul Kruse was an information-technology specialist and Emily was a stay-at-home mother. They had a mix of children, some from previous marriages and others whom they adopted overseas.
Reporting By Megan Twohey in New York. Edited by Blake Morrison.