Content warning: This story contains details that are graphic and distressing.
A man and woman in Michigan were sentenced this week for a sexual abuse conspiracy that saw two teenage girls repeatedly raped and ultimately resulted in three separate pregnancies.
Jeremiah Page, 37, and Kristina Sterly, 37, both hail from Emmet County, in the far northwestern part of the Wolverine State.
Page was sentenced to serve 31 to 47 years in prison on two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, and an additional 31 to 47 years on one count of child abuse in the first degree. Page’s sentences will run consecutively for a minimum 62 year sentence – with a possible maximum sentence of 94 years behind bars.
Sterly was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison on two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, and six to eight years in prison on one count of child abuse in the second degree. Sterly’s sentences will also run concurrently, effectively wiping out the lesser time.
According to MLive.com, the defendants were arrested in late August.
Each of the two took ultimately plea deals on lesser charges that drastically reduced their potential prison time. They were both originally charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree, and three counts of child abuse in the first degree. Page was initially charged with three counts of sexually abusive activity with a child, and one habitual offender count.
Page was denied bond upon his arrest while Sterly was granted a bond set at $500,000 cash. In late October, they accepted a plea deal.
“The most egregious case of [criminal sexual conduct] and child abuse involving minors,” Emmet County Sheriff Peter Wallin said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s disgusting.”
In arrest affidavits obtained by Traverse City, Mich.-based NBC and ABC affiliates WPBN/WGTU, the investigation began in February 2022 when Child Protective Services told the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office that two underage girls were possibly the victims of sex crimes.
Sterly was the first person contacted by law enforcement, the TV station reported, and was asked by detectives about a teenage girl who stayed with her and Page and who appeared to be pregnant. Sterly eventually admitted that the girl was, in fact, pregnant.
After the woman was arrested, a jailhouse phone call between herself and Page, her then-boyfriend, led to the man’s admission that he was the one who caused the girl’s pregnancy. Investigators later determined Page had sex with another girl who stayed with the couple.
The second girl became pregnant twice.
She told detectives that Page punched her in the stomach to terminate the pregnancies. During each pregnancy, Page later admitted, the girl technically gave birth, and the dead bodies were burned.
“Page said ‘yes,'” according to court documents obtained by the TV station. “Page was asked if that meant they would find a skeleton and Page said ‘no’ because Sterly threw the bodies into a fire pit and burned them up.”
Page told detectives that he had sex with the first victim three times. He admitted to having sex with the second victim 12 to 13 times.
No human remains were ever found on the couple’s property.
[images via Emmet County Sheriff’s Office]
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