An Ozark County woman, Jennifer Engles of Isabella, has pled guilty by Alford plea to endangering the welfare of a child. The plea came during a hearing last week in Greene County where the case had been transferred on a change of venue.
The Ozark County Times reports the plea was in connection with allegations Engles was present while her husband, Ernest Dale Engles, sexually abused a child younger than 12 between Sept. 1, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2011. Engles was sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
An additional charge of sexually trafficking a child younger than 12 was dismissed.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea where the defendant in a criminal case does not admit the criminal act and asserts innocence but believes there is enough evidence that a jury or judge would convict him or her.
The allegations in the case accuse Engles of having sex with men for money in view of the child, and at the same time, her husband engaged in sexual acts with the child. The alleged acts occurred at the Engles home in Brandsville; therefore, the charges were filed in Howell County.
Ernest Dale Engles was found guilty by a Dent County jury on June 17 of statutory sodomy, two counts of child molestation and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to life in prison.
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