An East Donegal Township woman’s claim that she did not receive a fair trial in the case that resulted in her being sentenced to two to five years in prison for torturing her 11-year-old stepdaughter was rejected by a state appeals court, according to a report by PennLive.
Jodie Hudson-Greenly, 45, claimed she didn’t receive a fair trial because a Lancaster County judge allowed the girl to testify by closed-circuit television because the child was terrified of being in the same courtroom with her. That claim was rejected by the Superior Court in an opinion by President Judge Emeritus Correale F. Stevens, according to the report.
Hudson-Greenly and her husband, Kenneth Greenly III, were convicted in 2019 on charges of child endangerment, conspiracy and simple assault, according to previous reporting by LNP | LancasterOnline. Prosecutors said the abuse happened at the couple’s home on Red Cedar Lane in Marietta and at the Maytown-East Donegal Township Fire Department firehouse over the weekend of April 20 to April 22, 2018.
Assistant Lancaster County district attorney Janie Swinehart called Hudson-Greenly the “ringleader” of the abuse, which included wall-sits for hours, beatings with a belt, not being allowed to eat, sleep or shower and forcing the girl to go to the bathroom through her clothes, according to the previous report.
Hudson-Greenly argued the judge’s decision to allow the child to testify outside the courtroom violated her right to confront her accuser, and she sought a new trial, according to the PennLive report.
Stevens noted that state law allows remote testimony to spare child victims any added trauma, particularly in especially brutal cases, according to the report.
Steven’s cited Lancaster County Judge Margaret C. Miller’s observation that the child, who had been adopted by another family, trembled at the mere prospect of having to see Hudson-Greenly in the courtroom, according to the report.
“Furthermore, the child stated that the prospect of seeing (the Greenlys) face-to-face scares her and makes her nervous because she is afraid they will do something to her again,” Miller wrote in her observation.
That evidence “clearly supports a finding that (Hudson-Greenly’s) presence would have caused serious emotional distress and impaired the victim’s ability to communicate in the courtroom,” Stevens concluded, according to the report.
Stevens also found that Hudson-Greenly provided nothing to back her claim that she was prejudiced by the allowance of the closed-circuit testimony, according to the report.
Kenneth Greenly was sentenced to two to four years in prison for the abuse, according to previous reporting.