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Woman pleads guilty to letting boyfriend beat daughter

Cathleen A. Koch 30 St. Charles pleaded guilty Thursday aggravated domestic battery misdemeanor child endangerment. She faces up 14 years

Cathleen A. Koch, 30, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated domestic battery and misdemeanor child endangerment. She faces up to 14 years in prison for not intervening when her boyfriend beat her 23-month-old daughter.

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A woman pleaded guilty Thursday to domestic battery for not intervening when her boyfriend beat her 23-month-old daughter in a hotel room in west suburban St. Charles in 2010.

Cathleen A. Koch, 30, of the 1500 block of East Main Street in St. Charles, pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated domestic battery and seven counts of misdemeanor child endangerment, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

Co-defendant James C. Cooper, 29, punched the 23-month-old girl 10 times and slammed her face-first into a bed on Oct. 27, 2010, in a hotel room in the 1500 block of East Main Street in St. Charles, a release from the state’s attorney;s office said.

The child immediately stopped breathing and began bleeding from the mouth. She suffered severe and permanent brain injuries and broken bones from the beating, according to prosecutors.

Koch was present in the room during the beating, but failed to stop Cooper, prosecutors said. She was charged because she is legally responsible for the abusive acts of her boyfriend.

After Koch called 911 to report the injuries, she repeatedly lied to police about how they occurred and about Cooper’s whereabouts, the release said.

“We are pleased that Ms. Koch has accepted responsibility for her failure to protect her daughter from a violent man,” State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said a statement.

“The person who had the legal responsibility to protect her was the one who exposed her to violence. The defendant effectively abandoned her daughter when the girl would have been able to trust that her mother would protect her,” he said.

Circuit Judge Timothy Sheldon will sentence Koch at 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 20. She remains free on $10,000 bond and faces up to 14 years in prison.

Cooper agreed March 30 to a 15-year prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of aggravated battery to a child, the release said.



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