Woman charged with incest strikes deal with prosecution

2012-05-15T13:35:00Z 2012-06-21T21:09:06Z Woman charged with incest strikes deal with prosecutionKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
May 15, 2012 1:35 pm  • 

A woman charged with having sex with her teenage son pleaded no contest Tuesday to incest and other felonies in Napa County Superior Court.

Mistie Atkinson, 32, pleaded “no contest” to incest, oral copulation with someone under the age of 18, sending harmful matter and contact with a minor for sexual offense against her biological son, a Napa resident, between October and March.

A plea of ‘no contest’ has the effect of a guilty plea at sentencing though the person neither admits nor deny the charges.

Under the plea deal, Atkinson may be sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison for the crimes against her son who lived with his father, according to court records. With time credit for good behavior, she may be out of prison in two years and four months.

Atkinson, of Nice, Lake County, was investigated for sending electronic messages with sexual content to her 16-year-old son starting in 2011, according to court documents.

The woman, who does not have custody of her son, had left the boy when he was 2 years old, court filings indicate.

Napa County Superior Court Judge Ray Guadagni scheduled sentencing for June 13 after accepting the ‘no contest’ pleas from Atkinson who remains in custody in the Napa County jail.

Prosecutor Lance Hafenstein agreed not to bring additional charges against Atkinson for her conduct through Tuesday. He did so after defense attorney Joe Solga sought assurances in court that his client would not be further prosecuted, saying Atkinson “may have attempted to contact witnesses” from the Napa County jail.

The case was filed in Napa County because many of the offenses occurred in Napa, Hafenstein explained after the court hearing.

Napa police said in court filings that the boy’s phone showed Atkinson allegedly performing oral sex with her biological son and engaging in sexual intercourse with the teenager. The videos were dated Feb. 3 and 4, court records show. The boy also had numerous photos of Atkinson on his cell phone, police said.

Atkinson was arrested on a warrant in March in Mendocino County where she was found in a Ukiah room with her biological son, court documents show.

The father of the boy said in court filings that Atkinson and his son, now 17, began communicating with each other on Facebook and with the telephone starting last September, according to the restraining order the man filed in County Superior Court in November.

Atkinson, the man said in the court document, “had been talking to him in manner that no mother should talk to their son.”

“She started to have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with him, not a mother-and-son relationship. It got to a point where their conversation began talking about harming me and killing off her boyfriend she was (now) living with. She was sending him pictures of her body and basically seducing him. The relationship needs to stop and we told both of them but they continue to get in contact with each other. It’s unhealthy and they need to stay apart,” the man said.

The father obtained a restraining order against Atkinson in December, according to the court document.

The Register is not disclosing the man’s name to protect the privacy of the boy.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(15) Comments

  1. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - May 15, 2012 2:10 pm
    So... They weren't living together, and reconnected?
  2. NapaDriver
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    NapaDriver - May 15, 2012 2:33 pm
    A Plea Deal !!! Really, seriously ?? They have her dead to rights according to what's been reported, so why deal ?
    A minimum of 4 years physcriatic therapy at best and no good behavior for early release.
  3. xgrapeape
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    xgrapeape - May 15, 2012 2:50 pm
    I just wonder if this was man having sex with his daughter what the outcome would be?
  4. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - May 15, 2012 2:52 pm
    This was my first time reading this, and his article didn't explain enough details. I just googled her. There are a lot of speculations on this matter. It's still disgusting.
  5. reason-ator
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    reason-ator - May 15, 2012 8:32 pm
    Esiuol said: "This was my first time reading this, and his article didn't explain enough details...."

    I'm trying to figure out if it's deliberate or just the usual quality.

  6. parallelparking
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    parallelparking - May 16, 2012 9:45 am
    Xgrapeape -- good point. I've wondered about the disparity when the offender is a teacher. Female teacher, no big deal -- male teacher, sex offense.
  7. orchid lady
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    orchid lady - May 16, 2012 11:11 am
    NapaDriver said: " A Plea Deal !!! Really, seriously ?? They have her dead to rights according to what's been reported, so why deal ?A minimum of 4 years psychiatric therapy at best and no good behavior for early release. "

    I'm with you on this...how could they offer a deal. It sounds like major incompetence in the D.A.'s office!

    Side note...why aren't sex crimes (most of them) punishable for longer periods of time? Like 10-15 years, instead of this 1-7 nonsense?
  8. reason-ator
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    reason-ator - May 17, 2012 9:27 am
    parallelparking said: "..... Female teacher, no big deal -- ...."

    If widespread nationwide television or tabloid coverage is "no big deal", then you are absolutely correct.

    I don't think I've ever seen a male teacher on the network news for this type of activity, but I can think of a couple of women.

    I guess an incorrect assumption about incorrect assumptions would be appropriate.

  9. KristinaD
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    KristinaD - May 21, 2012 10:42 am
    Totally agree with Reason-ator. Does the name Mary Kay Letourneau(sp) ring a bell with anyone? I think the opposite is true, that women who commit this type of crime are in the spotlight more because it doesn't happen as often.
  10. WineGuy95113
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    WineGuy95113 - June 22, 2012 5:01 pm
    Could you please explain why you want to spend that much money locking up a woman who had sex with a 16/17 year old (regardless of their shared genes)? Why do you want to incarcerate people for so long anyway? 10-15 years is what MOST of the world sentences people for second degree murder, in the US it now tends to be "to life". I can't afford to keep paying for our stupid sentencing laws, but I guess you can. Open your pocketbook because the rest of us are broke because of your opinion and those like you!
  11. Russ77
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    Russ77 - June 24, 2012 4:08 pm
    I agree with wineguy. Sending her to prison is over the top big time. What good will that do for society? It will also cost a lot of money to keep her there. If anything these people need help rather than to be condemned. It sounds to me as though this was pursued by the father as part of some kind of old score settling. Don't forget also that the boy willing went to meet her.
  12. Russ77
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    Russ77 - June 24, 2012 4:33 pm
    It doesn't get noticed in public as often. Whether that is a true reflection of reality or not is debateable. Probably it doesn't happen as often, but more to the point it is nowhere near as serious as men committing the equivalent offence. So why is it that a woman is condemned like this and attract so much publicity. It's political correctness gone mad.
  13. NapaNana
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    NapaNana - June 30, 2012 5:13 pm
    Hmmmm....I don't know wineguy...Russ77. I wonder why we should waste our tax dollars locking up such an exemplary Mother? I think that it may be because she committed a CRIME and an unforgivable one at that. AND if it was a father molesting his daughter...the same. If it was a teacher molesting their student...the same. An old score to settle? You have to be kidding! This kid has been damaged...for life. I wonder who/where he will be in 10 years. I'd almost bet that if it were your son being molested by his estranged mother....YOU would push to have her prosecuted too. Well....if your kids mean anything to you that is.
  14. Esiuol
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    Esiuol - July 02, 2012 10:24 am
    If it was man, that had sex with his daughter - would you still feel the same?
  15. John Richards
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    John Richards - July 02, 2012 1:40 pm
    Most kids are quite resilient. With some psychiatric counseling he'll do fine.

    This mother represents no further danger to society, so what is the purpose of locking her up except pure revenge for transgressing one of society's taboos?
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