TAMPA — The mother of a 7-year-old girl stood weeping in a federal courtroom, demanding lifelong prison sentences for the Tampa couple who sexually assaulted her daughter while the girl's own father took videos and pictures.
"I don't want my child to live in fear that she will ever have to see these people again or feel that they were not brought to justice," the Orlando woman said. "I don't want her to feel that she is unsafe in this world, that they could come back to try to harm her or retaliate."
In a joint sentencing hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez-Covington came close to granting the mother's request.
The judge sentenced Richmond Joseph McDonald, 40, to life in federal prison, and his wife, Shauna Maryann Boselli, 25, to 40 years. The girl's father, who lives in Orlando, was sentenced to 75 years at a federal hearing in Orange County earlier this year. The Tampa Bay Times is not naming the girl's parents to protect her identity.
Both Boselli and McDonald pleaded guilty to federal charges of enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, court records show.
The couple admitted to trading messages with the girl's father in an online chat room last summer, according to court records, after answering his online advertisement soliciting couples to engage in sexual activity with his daughter.
The Orlando man and his daughter engaged with McDonald and Boselli in several sexually explicit video conferences. Then he took his daughter to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo on July 19, 2016, so they could meet with the couple.
After their trip to the zoo, the three adults took the girl to the couple's home in Tampa and engaged in sexual activity, court records show. On July 21, they engaged in sex with the girl and her father again, this time at a Tampa hotel.
Investigators with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security later discovered pictures of the zoo trip while investigating the father's online personal ad. The investigation uncovered more than 1,300 images of child pornography on McDonald's electronic devices.
Boselli had no earlier criminal history. McDonald had previously been charged in Georgia with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 1998 and again in 2000. A jury convicted him of child molestation in the second encounter, but the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in 2001.
Two other women have filed reports against McDonald with Georgia law enforcement, alleging sexual and physical abuse including rape and sodomy. He has been arrested in Georgia a number of times for possession of pornographic materials depicting children, court records show.
Boselli was spared the life sentence the state allows for her crime, but she received far more than the minimum mandatory 10-year sentence requested by her attorney.
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Through testimony by witnesses including Boselli's mother and psychologist, Judge Hernandez-Covington learned Boselli had been sexually assaulted as a child and assumed a submissive role in an abusive relationship with McDonald.
But the judge also learned that the 7-year-old has been plagued by nightmares so frightening that she fights to stay awake all night, her mother said in testimony earlier this month. The girl has become socially withdrawn, showing increasing signs of anxiety and depression, and has fallen behind in school. Softball games have been replaced by specialized counseling sessions, and every belonging or photograph tied to her father has been purged from her life, her mother said.
"It is unforgiveable," she told the judge. "They are unredeemable and cannot and will not be rehabilitated."
In their plea agreements, Boselli and McDonald waived their rights to appeal their sentences. Both must register with the state as sexual offenders.
Contact Anastasia Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.