In July of 2014, reports of sexual abuse of children at a Billings day care began to surface. According to news reports, the 40-year-old son of Sunshine West, owner of Sunshine Daycare, was in charge of caring for the children when she wasn’t at the day care. Now Jared Addison Terhune is charged with at least 9 counts of sexual assault and rape of children after a new charge was filed on Tuesday, February 23.
The initial charges announced in November of last year involved four children who were from two to 13 years of age when they were allegedly assaulted. The newest victim to come forward is 8 years old, and claims she has been abused by Terhune since she was five or six. Terhune has pleaded not guilty to the newest charge against him, and is scheduled to go to trial in April of this year.
Senior Deputy County Attorney Mary Barry, the prosecutor assigned to Terhune’s case, stated that since its inception, more kids have come forward claiming abuse and more counts have been added. One two-year-old girl said that Terhune had used his finger and hurt her “pee pee,” while a 7-year-old girl said that the defendant attempted to bribe her with pie to get her to show him her underwear. She refused, but claimed that she fell asleep while watching television and Terhune took photos of her underwear then, which she says she saw on his camera.
Sunshine Daycare has been closed since August 2014, the month following the first allegations against Terhune who is currently being held in lieu of $250,000 bail as he awaits trial. In addition to charges of sexual intercourse without consent, he also faces charges of possession of child pornography.
Michigan sex crimes attorneys know how serious accusations of sexual assault are, whether the accused person is innocent or guilty. Allegations of rape, child molestation, child pornography, and other related offenses are some of the toughest anyone can face. While many of those accused of sexual assault are guilty, others are wrongly accused and even in some cases convicted, meaning they face punishment for crimes they did not commit.
Depending on the offense, sex crimes may leave the defendant facing a year or two of jail time, fines, probation, or even decades or life in prison and labeled as a sex offender. The fact is, these types of crimes can literally ruin someone’s life, costing him or her their freedom, reputation, career, and much more.
If you have been accused of sexual assault or any similar offense, it is critical to consult with a highly skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crimes lawyer immediately. You must do everything possible to protect your legal rights and freedom right from the beginning.