Woman sentenced in sex crime against relative

Woman sentenced in sex crime against relative

By Heather Michon, Correspondent

A Palmyra woman was sentenced Friday (June 22) for her role in a sex crime against a member of her own family.

Janet M. Bollinger was arrested in August 2017 and pleaded guilty in March 2018 to two counts each of aggravated sexual battery by force or threat, sex trafficking of a minor, and cruelty or injury to a child.

An investigation by the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office showed Bollinger had enticed her 15-year-old female family member into a sexual encounter with her and her boyfriend, Alfonso Hardy, and later assisted Hardy in prostituting the child for money.

Hardy has been indicted on 31 counts, including rape, sex trafficking, producing child pornography, and procuring a minor for prostitution.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Todd Shockley spared no words in condemning what he called “a grievous crime against the community,” made all the more disturbing by the previous close relationship between Bollinger and the young victim.

The girl, Shockley said, had viewed Bollinger “as her mother.”

He read aloud graphic text messages that Bollinger sent to Hardy showing that Bollinger had been an active participant in the crime, and even jealous that Hardy seemed to enjoy sex with the girl more than her.

While the Commonwealth appreciated that Bollinger pled guilty to spare the victim the further trauma of testifying, it hardly mitigated “the vile enjoyment of the destruction of this life.”

Shockley did not ask Judge Richard E. Moore for any specific sentence, but asked “that she not be young, and that her victim be well-aged,” before Bollinger again walked free.

“I could stand here for an hour and try to explain how this happened, and I’m still not sure I could,” said Bollinger’s attorney, David Randle, in his closing argument.

He asked the judge to consider that Bollinger had pleaded guilty to spare the victim, that she had no real prior criminal record, and that she was, to a far lesser degree, “a victim” of Hardy’s manipulation.

Bollinger sobbed as she tried to read a short prepared statement before Moore made his ruling. “I’ve hurt my family a lot…my family means everything to me. I’m working on myself to better myself.”

“This position comes with a lot of things that aren’t pleasant,” Moore commented before issuing his statement.

A jury, he said, probably would have given Bollinger 20 or more years. “You didn’t just allow it; you didn’t just set it up; you participated in it,” he said.
In the end, he followed the sentencing guidelines, giving her an active sentence of 14 years, with 16 suspended. After release, she will be required to serve five to 10 years active probation, and be on good behavior for the rest of her life.

Bollinger is prohibited from ever contacting the victim. She will be put on the sex offender registry, and Moore further ordered that she have no contact with minors outside her direct family.

Moore said he would allow Randle to file a motion for reconsideration when Hardy is sentenced, probably later this year.

But, he added, he didn’t expect he would change his mind: “This is my final sentence.”

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