April 04, 2000 04:51pm
Accused Mother Agrees To Counseling
(LORAIN, OH) -- A mother accused of taking lewd pictures of her 8-year-old girl avoided going to trial by signing an agreement Tuesday to undergo counseling and to give up two photos that prosecutors said were offensive.
Cynthia Stewart, 48, also acknowledged that the two pictures could be interpreted as sexually oriented, even though she did not intend them to be that way, said Lorain County Prosecutor Gregory White.
Stewart and her supporters, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said the pictures were an artistic documentation of the girl's life.
White said all charges against Stewart will be dropped as long as she complies with the agreement, which was filed Tuesday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court. Court papers said she must complete at least six months of counseling on adolescent sexuality and demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes sexually oriented material.
Stewart had faced as much as 16 years in prison if convicted of charges of illegal use of a child in nudity-oriented material and pandering sexually oriented material.
White said Tuesday that he will request a court order to destroy two of Stewart's pictures that a grand jury determined were offensive. The rest of the pictures will be returned to Stewart, who has taken about 40,000 photos of her daughter's everyday activities.