Speaker 1: Guilty on all counts, a Philadelphia jury has convicted a twenty-one year old woman for kidnapping and sexually abusing a little girl she snatched from school. It’s a high profile, emotionally charged case that we’ve been following since it happened more than a year and a half ago.
Speaker 2: Twenty-one year old Christina Regusters will now undergo a mental evaluation before she’s sentenced in December. NBC10 legal analysis Enrique Latoison joins us now live from our Digital Operations Center.
Speaker 1: Enrique, thanks for being with us. Let’s start with this – now that she’s been convicted on all counts, what kind of sentence is she facing?
Enrique Latoison: Well, she’s definitely looking at a life sentence at this point. You have to remember she was originally offered forty to eighty years. Now, there will be a presentence investigation, there will be a psychological evaluation, but the judge, the one charge alone – involuntary deviant sexual intercourse – that can carry life in prison alone. If you put all the charges together – there are felony one, first degree charges – she could easily be looking at upwards of a hundred and twenty years.
Speaker 1: She did not testify on her own behalf. Do you think that was a mistake?
Enrique Latoison: Well, in this particular case, the defense attorney had an opportunity to see her testify. She testified at the suppression case. So the defense attorney was able to witness her testimony. The defense attorney said afterwards that her testimony didn’t come off too well. Now, there’s still the instruction to the jury that her right to remain silent cannot be used and held against her. In the end, when she goes to testify, she then opens herself up to the cross-examination by the district attorney’s office. She also… anything possibly from her past that could possibly be used against her. So in the end, it becomes a strategic decision and, in this case, it, you know, it ended up being all guilty anyway.
Speaker 2: Yeah hard to, hard to second guess the defense attorney there. Enrique, how does the guilty verdict now affect the civil lawsuit that the victim’s family’s already filed.
Enrique Latoison: Well, obviously, the civil lawsuit would be against the school district. I doubt the defendant in this case has any assets that the family would go after. You also heard the district attorney in the closing statement say that the school district was reckless and this person being convicted at this particular point can definitely be used against the civil suit to say that their actions was reckless and it led to the victim in this case being abused and the defendant being convicted.
Speaker 1: Enrique Latoison, NBC10 legal analyst, as always, thanks for your perspective.
Enrique Latoison: Thank you.