Pauls Valley couple sentenced to life without parole in horrific child abuse case
A Pauls Valley couple charged over the summer with rape, incest, child abuse, manufacturing child pornography, and lewd acts with a minor have each been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Tuesday.
Garvin County District Judge Leah Edwards sentenced Gerrad Coddington, 25, and Christina Nelson-Coddington, 30, on all 29 counts relating to the abuse.
An investigation generated over 6,000 pages of communication between the co-defendants and tens of thousands of photos and videos. The state presented evidence that showed underage victims were beaten, handcuffed and raped. Evidence was also uncovered that both defendants had conspired to commit incest with his unborn child.
The Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into the couple after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided the office a tip containing information that the couple allegedly shared a pornographic image of a minor on a social media website.
Agents with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Garvin County Sheriff’s Office and Pauls Valley Police Department investigated the tip and were able to develop probable cause to arrest the suspects within three days of receiving the tip.
Both were arrested on June 14 and face several charges including manufacturing child pornography, lewd acts with a minor, and violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
According to the probable cause affidavit, a victim in the case is just two years old. Graphic photos were allegedly shared between the suspects via Facebook, the affidavit states.
Information obtained this summer alleged that additional underage victims were beaten, handcuffed and raped, and that Gerrad "had conspired to commit incest with his unborn child."
Hunter said the facts of the case were utterly appalling and hopes the sentence will send a strong message to those who consider committing these types of crimes.
“These two individuals engaged in horrifying acts of abuse and violence with innocent children,” Attorney General Hunter said. “These are evil people who presented a danger to society. I commend Judge Edwards’ decision to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law."