February 22, 2020
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Mass. woman blackmailed into sexually assaulting 18-month-old pleads guilty

Stock image | Pixabay
Stock image | Pixabay

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts — A Massachusetts woman who was blackmailed into sexually assaulting an 18-month-old child in her care pleaded guilty, officials said.

Erica Emerling, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty Tuesday to indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and reckless endangerment of a child, The Berkshire Eagle reports.

Emerling had an online relationship with a man named Gary Montana of Hudson, New York, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano. Montana threatened to distribute explicit photos of Emerling unless she performed sexual acts on the child, which he recorded in January 2018, authorities said.

Montana was sentenced to up to 18 years in prison in December after pleading guilty to charges including exhibiting a child in a state of nudity or sexual contact.

Emerling’s sentencing is expected to take place in February after she undergoes a court-ordered mental health evaluation. The state is considering a sentence of 2 1/2 years in jail followed by a period of probation.


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