The foul acts happened three years ago when one girl was 6 and the other was 8.
Over a span of months, a woman and her boyfriend decided, as a prosecutor put it, to incorporate the children “into their sexual behaviors as a couple.”
The sordid details were aired Thursday in Bibb County Superior Court, where the woman, 29-year-old Amanda Arellano of Crawford County, pleaded guilty to crimes that included rape and aggravated child molestation.
Arellano was sentenced to 30 years in prison and lifetime probation as a sex offender.
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Her boyfriend, Daniel Kelly Copeland, 30, of Fort Valley, pleaded guilty last year to rape and four counts of aggravated child molestation for his role in the abuse.
Copeland is serving a 25-year prison term that will be followed by lifetime probation.
The couple’s crimes began in the latter half of 2011. Copeland was jailed in January 2012, as was Arellano, after his father informed authorities that his son had admitted having inappropriate contact with children.
Arellano’s trial was to begin next week, but she opted to plead guilty. Prosecutors agreed to the plea, Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy Scott Malcor said, to spare the children from having to relive their abuse by testifying.
“These girls have been through enough,” Malcor said.
On Thursday, the graphic nature of what the girls endured left many in the courtroom shaken, some in tears. A bailiff later said, “I almost had to get up and walk out.”
Arellano, prosecutors said, admitted participating in sex acts with Copeland and the girls, witnessing sex acts involving the girls and taking photographs of the acts. The children involved were known to their abusers and were not chosen at random.
Investigators said the sex acts happened at a house in the Baconsfield area of Macon where she and Copeland lived for a short time. Others took place at a home in Crawford County and in an abandoned trailer in Houston County.
Authorities have said Arellano and Copeland performed sex acts in front of one of the girls, and then Arellano helped the girl perform sex acts with Copeland. At some point, Arellano allegedly held the girl down while Copeland had sex with her.
The prosecutor told of one episode involving Copeland in which Arellano said to one of the girls, “This is how men show you they love you.”
At times during Thursday’s proceeding as specifics of Arellano’s crimes were revealed, she appeared to shake her head.
Later, standing before Judge Howard Simms, Arellano, almost whispering, said, “I’m sorry. ... I’m so sorry. And I will punish myself more than you can probably ever punish me, sir.”
Moments before sentencing her, Simms, who had glared down at Arellano while the prosecutor described her crimes, couldn’t contain his disgust.
“Ms. Arellano, I don’t know that I have ever said a curse word from this bench,” he said, “but you may be the vilest bitch that I have ever met.”
The judge, his voice solemn, then spoke of “a special place in hell for people who do” what Arellano did.