VISALIA – A Reedley woman who drugged children with Oreo cookies and drinks laced with Ativan before filming sex acts with them and her boyfriend was sentenced to 73 years in state prison, Assistant District Attorney Shani Jenkins said Thursday.
Jennifer Lynn Thurman, 35, was previously sentenced in federal court in December on the same charges to 120 years in prison for the crimes. The state and federal prison terms will be served concurrently.
Thurman pleaded guilty to 14 counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, and five counts of rape in concert. Tulare Superior Court Judge Gary Paden also ordered Thurman to register as a sex offender for life. All charges count as strike offenses under California law, Jenkins said.
Thurman’s boyfriend, Steven Patrick Arthur of Porterville, who was also sentenced to 120 years in federal prison, will face a jury trial next week on state charges of child molestation.
According to court documents, Thurman and Arthur drugged juveniles staying at their home between September 2007 and January 2008. At least some of the girls were friends of Arthur’s daughter, ranging in age between 11 and 13.
Lacing snacks with the powerful tranquilizer Ativan, the couple waited until their victims were unconscious, then took turns taking pictures and video of each other performing sex acts on the children.
The still images and video were then transferred to a computer and compact discs.
The federal case arose from an investigation by the FBI Cybercrimes Task Force in Fresno. It was started after information was provided by the Porterville Police Department and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
Porterville police served a search warrant at Arthur’s Porterville home. Authorities found about 50 DVDs containing child pornography.