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Mother asks for reduced sentence in St. Charles toddler-beating case

Cathleen Koch

Cathleen Koch

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Updated: October 18, 2012 9:30PM

A month after being sentenced to eight years in prison for failing to stop the vicious beating of her young daughter in 2010, Cathleen Koch now contends the judge in her case did not properly consider all her reasons to avoid incarceration.

Koch, who has not yet been transferred from the Kane County jail to the Illinois Department of Corrections, will go before Circuit Judge Timothy Sheldon next week to again ask for probation or to have her prison time shortened on convictions for aggravated domestic battery, obstruction of justice and child endangerment.

In court filings, Koch states Sheldon didn’t “mention or give any indication” he considered mitigating factors presented at sentencing, while instead making it a point to mention the Koch’s daughter’s plight.

“This Honorable court focused on the level of injuries the minor child sustained,” Koch’s motion states.

Prosecutors reserved comment on the motion until the Oct. 25 hearing. But they said at sentencing that Koch repeatedly failed to intervene on her 22-month-old daughter’s behalf as it became apparent she had been abused by Koch’s boyfriend, James Cooper.

Koch, 30, of St. Charles, also lied about Cooper to police investigating the attack, which took place at a St. Charles motel. Cooper is serving a 15-year prison term for aggravated battery to a child. He punched the girl 10 times and then threw her onto a bed causing injuries so severe, including traumatic brain damage, that she will never be able to live independently.

In handing down the prison term, Sheldon said Koch showed a selfish attitude from the days after the attack through the sentencing hearing, and in her counseling and treatment choices. He also said she failed to take responsibility for her daughter’s injuries.

Koch told the judge at sentencing that she was “deeply sorry” for what happened to the girl.

In the sentence reconsideration motion, Koch suggests that parenting classes and domestic abuse victim counseling showed her commitment to improving her life, which, in turn would benefit her two children.

A protective order has prohibited Koch from seeing her daughter since the attack. Koch also has an 11-month-old son. She was only allowed to be with her son in supervised settings while living with her mother and stepfather prior to sentencing.

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