In August, Nicholas Deon Thrash was convicted of raping and impregnating a ten-year-old girl. A court in Indiana sentenced Thrash to 160 years in prison. Thrash repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend’s daughter. Jennifer Hand aided and assisted in the abuse of her daughter. Shortly after Thrash received the massive prison sentence, Jennifer struck a plea deal with the state of Indiana. The details of plea agreement further detail the mother’s involvement in the horrific crime.
Only weeks before Jennifer Hand’s court date related to the repeated rape and sexual abuse of her daughter, she agreed to a 25-year prison sentence. As a part of the plea agreement, Jennifer agreed to serve 20 years of prison and five years of supervised probation.
According to a report in The Chronicle-Tribune, Hand pled guilty to multiple charges:
“Hand, 33, was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, a Level 5 felony, neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony, aiding child molesting, a Level 1 felony, and assisting a criminal, a Level 5 felony, for the part she played in Thrash’s molesting, which according to investigators took place over several years.”
During the hearing, new details about the case were revealed in court. Hand admitted to the court that her daughter confessed to her that Trash was molesting her. Despite her daughter’s admission, Hand permitted Thrash to continue living in their home.
According to reports, Trash began raping the girl when she was only eight-years-old. When the abuse started, the couple lived in Georgia with the girl. Soon a tip was received by authorities about the suspected abuse of the minor child.
Following the tip, an investigation discovered male DNA in the victim’s underwear. After authorities found the DNA, they began looking for Thrash.
However, Thrash and Hand fled to Indiana to avoid criminal prosecution. When they arrived in Indiana, the girl told investigators that Trash raped her at last 15 more times.
While in Indiana, the girl became pregnant at age 10. Hand realized her daughter was pregnant while they were shopping for clothing. Instead of turning Thrash into authorities, Hand took steps to cover up his crime.
Hand brought her to an abortion clinic. However, the clinic refused to perform the abortion on the girl. Protestors outside the clinic confronted the girl and mother after they left the clinic. These protestors ended up reporting the girl’s pregnancy to authorities.
In Hand’s court proceedings, she admitted she signed off on a “safety plan” in Georgia. In the plan, Hand agreed to keep Thrash away from her daughter. Additionally, she told the court she lied to authorities in Georgia and Indiana about Thrash’s location.
In her plea agreement, Hand cannot have any contact with her 12-year-old daughter until the victim’s counselor “deems it appropriate.” She also agreed to pay court costs, a sexual assault victim’s fee, and a child abuse prevention fee.
Prosecutors in the case told reporters they were pleased with the outcome. Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Glancy said in a statement, “We were certainly ready to go to trial in a few weeks, but the emotional and psychological toll would have been significantly more (for this trial) than the Thrash trial.”
Glancy also stated this is the first time her in 26 year career she has ever prosecuted someone for aiding in child molestation.
“When you aid someone, you’re helping them in some way. Child molesting is usually behind closed doors … under secrecy. Just suspecting it is not enough for the charge, you have to have facts to prove that they were helping,” Glancy said.
Hand willingly kept her daughter in a dangerous situation. Despite her daughter’s admission to her and an agreement in the state of Georgia, Hand continued to allow Thrash access to her daughter. Glancy said her disregard for her daughter’s safety met the criteria for the charge.
Today the victim is 12 years old. She gave birth to a baby boy in 2017. The baby boy was given up for adoption. The girl lives in foster care, and she is undergoing intense therapy to help her manage the trauma from the abuse.
Glancy says the girl is in a much better place now and getting better every day.
Jennifer Hand began serving her sentence in late September 2018. She will be eligible for release in 2038. Her daughter will be 32 years old when she is released from prison.
Nicholas Thrash will die in prison. The court sentenced him to 160 years in prison. He must serve a minimum of 100 years of the sentence.
Children should be able to rely on their parents to protect them from harm. Jennifer continually prevented her daughter from escaping her abuser. Instead, she enabled and assisted her boyfriend in repeatedly raping her innocent daughter.
Thrash’s crimes are disgusting, but Hand’s role in the offense is deplorable.