A woman has been jailed for refusing to testify against her husband in a family molestation investigation a week after one of their daughters was ordered jailed for not testifying.
The 39-year-old woman was called to testify at a hearing Monday against her husband, who is accused of molesting his two eldest daughters, ages 16 and 18."No, I will not, your honor," she replied when asked by Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Bryant Huff if she planned to answer his questions.
Huff told her she could not invoke marital privilege, which normally allows one spouse from testifying against the other. A 1987 amendment to the law prohibits couples from invoking the privilege when a child is the victim of a crime and a parent is accused, said prosecutor Donald Johstono.
When the judge asked the woman if she understood the consequences of not cooperating, she replied, "I understand that there is an abuse of power going on here."
Huff ordered the woman jailed on $100,000 bond.
Last week, Huff ordered the couple's 18-year-old daughter to jail for refusing to testify. She remained jailed Monday. The 16-year-old daughter has been allowed not to testify because she is emotionally unable to, authorities said.
The couple, who have two other daughters and two sons, have criticized authorities for prosecuting the case, saying officials are trying to tear their family apart. The woman said her faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is committed to maintaining the family unit, prevents her from testifying.
Her husband is charged with multiple counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and sodomy, and one count of aggravated sodomy. He is free on $25,000 bond.