ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) - A Norton woman was found guilty Thursday of molesting and assaulting a girl she babysat at the child's home, but acquitted of punching her younger brother.
The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports a prosecutor said Crystal Goodis, 33, created "a house of horrors," including wearing Halloween-type costumes and playing horror movies to frighten the children, who were then 4-and 3-years-old.
"This woman created her own house of horrors at their home in Norton," prosecutor Karin Welker said in her closing argument.
The children, now 8 and 6, testified during the two-day trial that Goodis punched and kicked them the first day she babysat them in 2009. The girl said Goodis touched her inappropriately, but she didn't tell anyone until 10 months later because Goodis threatened her and her brother.
The children's mother testified she stopped hiring Goodis after about three months when her daughter locked herself in a closet and screamed uncontrollably. The mother said she didn't learn of the alleged abuse until her daughter acted out inappropriate behavior.
Defense attorney Paula Plouffe suggested the girl could have learned the behavior elsewhere, and that the children accused Goodis because they preferred a previous babysitter.
"I would never do anything like that, ever," Goodis testified. "I'm not the type of person who could do anything like that." She said the children made up the allegations but she didn't know why since she thought they had gotten along well.
Goodis acknowledged an interest in horror themes, and that she first told police she didn't even know the children because she was nervous.
Goodis was sentenced to serve 18 months of a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence, followed by 20 years' probation. She must undergo counseling and stay away from children.