A 39-year-old Claypool woman was sent to prison Thursday for possession of child porn involving animals.

Roselyn B. Burkhart, 39, of 107 N. Rebecca St., Claypool, appeared in front of Kosciusko Superior Court I Judge David Cates and was handed a five-year prison sentence to the Indiana Department of Corrections, with two years suspended to probation, for possession of child pornography, a level 5 felony. The pornography Burkhart possessed involved children engaged in bestiality, which is defined as sexual conduct with animals.

Cates told Burkhart that after her release from prison, she must register as a sex offender, provide the probation department with any internet accounts and passwords and continue in counseling “to deal with a sick addiction.”

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz said the crime Burkhart is being convicted of is “repulsive and nauseating.”

Burkhart’s attorney, Doug Lemon, told the judge he doesn’t disagree with Voelz and that he would even add “vile” to the description of his client’s crime. However, Lemon said the images Burkhart was looking at were not images that she was producing, adding that would make this case much worse.

“She was downloading them from some perverted place on the internet,” Lemon said.

He told Cates that Burkhart has suffered immeasurable shame and embarrassment from her criminal addiction being brought to light. He told the judge she is a married mother of three, with her oldest child being 9 years old. Lemon also said she has no criminal history and that she has sought help for her addiction.

“She’s glad she got caught. She’s up front about what she did is wrong and repulsive,” Lemon said. “From the outside looking in, she was a happy wife and mother. She was a microbiologist in town. That’s gone.”

Burkhart told Cates, “There aren’t enough words to portray the feeling of sorrow and embarrassment and remorse that I have in this case. I am committed that this never happens again. This has been the worst experience of my life, and I’m truly sorry.”

According to the probable cause affidavit, Indiana State Police began investigating Burkhart in September 2018 after information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed child pornography was uploaded on June 19, 2018, by residents at Burkhart’s Claypool address.

“The child pornography provided was of children obviously under the age of 12 years of age involved in sexual conduct while in bondage, sexual conduct of children under the age of 18 years engaged in bestiality and children under 12 years of age involved in sexual conduct,” court records state. “On Jan. 17, 2019, police served the search warrant … and through interviews determined that child pornography was on Roselyn Burkhart’s cellular device.”

Burkhart also admitted to police that she downloaded child pornography from the internet to her husband’s KIK account and then downloaded the images to her cellular device by using her husband’s Facebook Messenger to her Facebook Messenger to her device.

Burkhart originally was charged with two counts of child exploitation, level 4 felonies, but those were deemed by prosecutors to not apply after investigating the evidence.

Cates on Thursday told Burkhart she admitted to him that she had accessed the child pornography after she submitted her guilty plea. To Cates, this was an aggravating factor that outweighed the mitigating factors like her lack of criminal history.

“There’s no market for bestiality, the vile and repulsive images,” Cates told her. “You helped create that market. You continued to engage in illegal conduct after you entered your plea. What you’ve done is not acceptable.”

Burkhart was remanded to the custody of the sheriff after she was sentenced. She was escorted out of the courtroom, repeatedly shouting at her husband in attendance, “I’m not gonna be OK.”