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CourtWatch: Mom Who Let Boyfriend Beat Toddler Wants Sentence Cut

Cathleen Koch received an eight-year prison term last month in the 2010 beating of her daughter in a St. Charles motel room.

A woman whose eight-year prison sentence for allowing her boyfriend to severely beat her then-2-year-old daughter will ask a judge next week to reduce her sentence.

Cathleen A Koch, 30, will ask a judge on Oct. 25 to reduce her sentence, according to court records. Koch's story brought a firestorm of criticism and anger from St. Charles Patch and Huffington Post readers late last month.

Koch received the eight-year term on Sept 26 for her earlier guilty plea to one count of aggravated domestic battery, a Class 2 felony; five counts of obstructing justice, each a Class 4 felony; and seven counts of child endangerment, each a Class A misdemeanor. As part of the pleas, she agreed that the actions that caused injury to her daughter were exceptionally brutal or heinous in nature and indicative of wanton cruelty.

She was charged because she refused to protect her daughter from her boyfriend, who punched the 23-month-old girl 10 times and slammed her face-first into a bed.in 2010. James C. Cooper, 29, was sentenced March 30, 2012, to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony. He is incarcerated in downstate Ina at Big Muddy Correctional Center.

Before sentencing Koch, 16th Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon said that throughout nearly two years of court proceedings, Koch remained focused on herself, showed little remorse for her daughter’s injuries and failed to accept responsibility for her role.

“It is unconscionable to this court that a loving parent wouldn’t sacrifice everything to protect a child,” Sheldon said at the time.

The beating occurred Oct. 27, 2010, in a hotel room in the 1500 block of East Main Street, St. Charles, and left the child immediately unresponsive, not breathing and bleeding from her mouth. Authorities said the brutal assault caused severe and permanent brain injuries and broken bones.

Koch was in the room during the beating but refused to stop Cooper or intervene on the child’s behalf. Koch was not injured in the incident. Authorities said Koch lied about the cause of the child’s injuries, lied about Cooper’s whereabouts, and provided other misleading and inaccurate information about Cooper.

As a result of the Oct. 27, 2010, abuse, authorities aid the now 4-year-old girl is permanently handicapped, developmentally delayed, cannot feed herself and cannot run or hop.

Ray Schneider October 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM
She need MORE time in Prison, not less !
Mr. Ed October 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I think she got off with only an eight year sentence! Her daughter will never be the same and one would hope that this woman never has custody of her daughter when she does get out. What a shame we cannot add a public flogging to her sentence.
Melanie Allen October 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I have a 23 month old daughter. The thought of someone doing to her what was done to this poor child is horrifying. I am sick to my stomach just reading about it, I can't imagine a woman and mother who could WATCH this abuse and not intervene. She deserves much more than 8 years. I hope and pray that her daughter is in the care of more loving arms today.

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