FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks judge has sentenced a 52-year-old North Pole woman to 2 1/2 years in prison for repeatedly beating three children in her care.
In announcing the sentence Monday, Superior Court Judge Mary Greene noted the severity of abuse the children received from Lottie Beasley.
"The children were beat repeatedly with objects," Greene said. "They were sent out to get their own sticks to be hit with. This is an extreme case ... short of broken bones."
Beasley originally faced eight felony and six misdemeanor charges stemming from allegations that she repeatedly beat the three children for several years. In November, she agreed to plead no contest to one count of third-degree assault - a combined charge that alleges she beat the three children with a metal broomstick.
Beasley had few words at Monday's hearing.
"I wouldn't hurt my kids," she said. "I don't have to have them kids. I took them because they was being mistreated. I wouldn't hurt them."
Beasley was arrested in June 2001, shortly after two of the boys in her care, ages 10 and 11, ran away from her home.
Original charging documents said the children told Alaska State Troopers that Beasley had beaten them and a 6-year-old girl in the home numerous times during the past two to three years using broomsticks, extension cords and plastic tubing.
The documents also say Beasley's husband told troopers he had seen her beat the children and had tried to intervene, but that she hit him, as well. Beasley denied hitting the children and told troopers her husband hit them, according to the documents.
Beasley's attorney, Jim Hackett, argued for leniency for his client.
"Ms. Beasley comes before the court as a person 52 years of age. She has absolutely no other criminal history," he said.
District attorney Teresa Foster said Beasley's daughter and husband had both filed domestic-violence restraining orders against her.
In addition to the physical abuse, Foster said the mental injuries likely will stay with the children for years.
"The older of the boys here is already having problems that suggest he may show up in this courtroom," she said.