Spokane woman charged with raping 3-year-old girl
SPOKANE, Wash. — Court documents allege a Spokane mother performed oral sex on a three-year old member of her family and posted images and video of the acts online.
Jessica Cunnington, 27, was arrested Tuesday. According to the jail roster, she has been charged with Rape of a Child in the first degree, Child Molestation in the first degree and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
Cunnington is also being investigated by the FBI and may face additional charges stemming from that investigation.
Several weeks ago, Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives filed a search warrant to investigate Cunnington’s computer for evidence of child rape. In December, a woman told a deputy that Cunnington had dropped the computer off to her, telling her that “Google sent her a subpoena from the FBI” because she was being investigated for sharing “sexual pictures” specifically a 3-year-old.
That woman told police Cunnington gave her the laptop because there were sentimental family photos that she didn’t want to lose. Detectives contacted Cunnington but did not hear back.
On December 31, a different Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a parenting dispute between Jessica Cunnington and the father of her three children. The two are reportedly in the process of divorcing.
The deputy, at that time unaware of the ongoing investigation regarding the sex crime allegations, allowed Cunnington to take the kids to her parents’ house for the night.
Cunnington’s husband then informed the deputy that the FBI was investigating her for taking pictures of a child and sending them to people on the internet. He told the deputy Cunnington had admitted to photographing and filming herself performing oral sex on a child and then putting the images and video online.
On January 2, her children were removed from Cunnington’s custody by Child Protective Services.
Her husband later spoke to the detective investigating the sex crime allegations. He said that Cunnington had been informed that she was under FBI surveillance in November. According to the court documents he and Cunnington then visited two different lawyers one of whom was Rob Cossey. The father said Cossey told Cunnington to get rid of, or destroy, the phone she used to take pictures and video.
In a phone call with KXLY, Cossey confirmed that Cunnington and her husband had met with him about the investigation but said he is not representing her. He said it is “unlikely” that he told them to destroy or get rid of the phone and that “that doesn’t sound like me, to be honest.”
Her husband told detectives she did get rid of the phone, but that he did not know exactly what she did- only that she now uses a ‘pay-as-you-go’ phone.
When asked why he had not reported Cunnington, her husband said that he did not initially think what she had done was “rape” and she told him she wanted one more Christmas with her kids before turning herself in.
Shortly after that interview, the detective was contact by law enforcement in Los Angeles, where an LAPD and FBI joint task force had recently arrested a man who had contacted Cunnington online and had allegedly received sexually explicit images from her.
Authorities say a search of the laptop did not turn up any evidence. Police in Los Angeles sent FBI agents a forensic copy of a phone used in their case that reportedly contained pictures and video sent by email that Cunnington’s husband said belonged to her. Local authorities have filed a warrant to search that phone for pictures as well.
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