Bartlesville woman enters blind plea agreement in child abuse case

·2 min read
Ashley Burnett
Ashley Burnett

A Bartlesville woman entered a blind plea agreement Tuesday in a case involving the sexual abuse of her 8-year-old daughter.

Ashley Burnett is being held without bond after entering a plea deal on charges of enabling child sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, performing lewd acts in the presence of a minor, conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance.

Counts of procuring obscene material and possession of drug paraphernalia were dropped. She will be held until her Jan. 19 sentencing.

The case began when two women in the community discovered explicit Facebook messages between Burnett and her husband, Kendall Burnett, discussing sexual actions involving the child. They reported the messages to the Bartlesville Police Department and the couple was arrested in February 2020, said Will Drake, Washington County assistant district attorney.

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“Without those two ladies and the Bartlesville Police Department, we wouldn’t have gotten this far. We always appreciate the public’s help in things like this, and the police are key in getting a successful prosecution,” Drake said.

The couple was tried separately, with Kendall Burnett opting for a jury trial. On Oct. 7, he was found guilty on counts of child neglect, conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia and jumping bail.

On Nov. 15, he received consecutive sentences of 10 years for the first charge, 15 years each for the second and third charges and four years for the fourth.

In Ashley Burnett’s Jan. 19 court appearance, Associate District Judge Russell Vaclaw will hear arguments, and possibly witness testimony, from both sides prior to sentencing, Drake said.

“It seems like this case has gone on for a long time. It’s good we’ve gotten it this far. It’s good for all the people involved, including the victim and the victim’s family to get it resolved,” Drake said.

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This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Bartlesville woman enters blind plea in child abuse case