A 22-year-old woman will serve 40 years to life in prison for kidnapping a kindergartner from a West Philadelphia school, holding her captive and sexually assaulting her.
After a slew of delays in her sentencing, 22-year-old Christina Regusters learned her fate on Monday in front of Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart.
Regusters was sentenced to 20 years to life on the charge of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse causing serious bodily injury. For aggravated assault and kidnapping charges, she was sentenced to another 10 to 20 years on each charge, to be served consecutive to her other sentences, NBC10's Doug Shimell reported from Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center.
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Regusters was convicted last year of kidnapping the 5-year-old girl from Bryant Elementary School, in the city's Cobbs Creek section, Jan. 14, 2013, holding the little girl captive and raping her. Regusters, a day care worker at the time of the kidnapping, posed as the little girl's mother and signed her out of school that day, prosecutors contended.
She then led the child to a house in the neighborhood, carried her upstairs in a laundry bag and sexually assaulted her using a sharp object while she held her captive for several hours, prosecutors said. The little girl was later found half-clothed, dumped in an Upper Darby park and badly injured, but alive.
The little girl took the stand at Regusters' high-profile three-week trial last year and testified about her ordeal. An attorney for Regusters, who underwent a mental-health evaluation as part of her trial, argued that while she may have been involved in the kidnapping, she did not sexually assault the child and actually set her free.
A jury didn't believe that argument and in September 2014 found Regusters guilty of aggravated assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse causing serious bodily injury, kidnapping, unlawful restraint of a minor and concealment of the whereabouts of a child.
Regusters' sentencing, originally scheduled to take place in December 2014, was postponed five times.