LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas woman who wrote a book critical of an agency responsible for protecting children now faces the possibility of a life sentence after a jury convicted her of abusing her three adopted daughters.
The Clark County jury found Janet Solander guilty of 46 counts Tuesday, including child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and sexual assault with a minor under 14. The jury’s decision came after a month of testimony.
Prosecutors described years of abuse that Solander, 57, carried out “just to hurt,” ”just to humiliate” and “just to cause pain,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported . They also criticized the state’s Division of Child and Family Services for not addressing signs of trouble at the Solander home more quickly.
Prosecutors said Child Protective Services responded to more than a dozen calls involving the girls but took no action. They said Solander unnecessarily used a catheter on the girls and burned one of them with hot water.
“Janet abused these kids, and (Child Protective Services) failed them,” chief deputy district attorney Jacqueline Bluth told jurors. “She doesn’t get a pass because (Child Protective Services) can’t do their job.”
Defense attorney Caitlyn McAmis rejected the use of the catheter. She said a photo that prosecutors showed as evidence could have been used by Solander as a “scare tactic.”
“You don’t have any credible evidence that a catheter was used in the home,” McAmis said. “How do you know that wasn’t just a stock photo from the internet?”
McAmis dismissed much of the testimony during the trial. She said it came from “troubled girls” who made up the stories because “they didn’t want to go home,” where they were not allowed to watch TV and drink soda.
Solander is the author of “Foster Care: How to Fix this Corrupted System,” which is critical of Nevada’s Child Protective Services. Prosecutors said in court that she falsely claimed she was a registered nurse in her book’s jacket.
Solander’s husband pleaded guilty last month to three counts of child abuse with substantial bodily injury.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com