SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV/CNN) – A California mother was sentenced Friday for threatening a couple that bought a house she wanted.
The 53-year-old woman terrorized the couple by posting shocking ads on Craigslist, inviting men to come rape the woman living in the house she wanted to buy but didn’t get.
It was a major fall from grace for Kathy J. Rowe who was honored as ‘Mother of the Year’ in 2006 for the way she cared for her daughter with disabilities.
Rowe, a former county employee, apologized in court.
“The stress, the lack of privacy just… i’m just very sorry,” Rowe said.
The young couple told the court of the agonizing years since they got in her way.
“It was a calculated, sustained, and malicious attack on the well-being of my entire family. I now ask the court to hold miss rowe accountable for the tremendous amount of time and energy she spent terrorizing my family. I believe Ms. Rowe continues to be dangerous because of her skills of manipulation and ability to lie.” victim Jerry Rice said.
His wife, Janice Ruhter, said she felt safer away from home when Rowe was harassing her family.
“The house became my prison. As soon as one door was opened, it was immediately locked behind me,” victim Janice Ruhter said.
The couple talked of counseling, self defense courses, their intense fear.
California Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis said she saw some remorse but not truthfulness.
“I think you said you didn’t want to hurt them; I think that’s exactly what you wanted to do was to hurt them for buying the house you wanted,” Judge Lewis said. “What I see is a Jekyll and Hyde, almost,” telling Rowe she was lucky the solicited rape never happened.
Judge Lewis sentenced Rowe to one year house arrest, five years probation, and a 10-year no contact order. after court:
“She is not a threat to anybody. She is… This was not intended to be threatening conduct,” Rowe’s defense attorney Brad Patton said.
Patton said Rowe was suffering from a lack of sleep due to caring for her daughter, who’s now 16, and her husband, who had just had a heart attack.
Rowe, who currently lives about a mile away from the couple, had pleaded guilty last year to a felony stalking charge.
In return for her plea to stalking, prosecutors dismissed felony charges of solicitation for rape, solicitation for sodomy and misdemeanor charges of identity theft and making annoying or threatening communication.
“The court, in ordering 365 days of custody, put a very heavy hammer over her head. Should she violate any of the courts orders or violate any terms or conditions of probation, she’ll go to prison,” Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh said.