A University Place woman accused of whipping and choking her young children and exposing them to pornography has been sentenced.
A jury found 29-year-old Natashia Monique Britt guilty in October of first-degree child assault and two counts each of second-degree child assault and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Grant Blinn sentenced her Dec. 8 to 14 years and three months in prison.
Her children were ages 2, 8 and 10 when she was charged with the abuse in September 2016. Charging papers give this account:
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A family member cared for the kids after they were taken from Britt in July 2016 after she’d been arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment and DUI.
While Britt was in custody, the children disclosed the abuse to police.
The 10-year-old told investigators he’d been punched in the stomach and whipped daily. Once he was whipped for stealing the wrong kind of Gatorade, he said.
The 8-year-old told police he thought he would die when his mother put a blanket over his face and it was hard to breathe. He also described being choked, bound with tape and beaten with a cord.
Both boys said they’d seen sexual images of their mother.
Before Britt was sentenced, Pierce County Jail chaplains wrote the court that she had been engaged in programs at the jail, such as Bible study.
“I have never before felt the need to write on someone’s behalf, yet I am doing so now,” one chaplain wrote.
Britt has no prior felony convictions, though she was convicted of the misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault involving one of the children.
Britt was abused as a child, according to paperwork filed by her defense attorney before sentencing.
Her family wrote the judge to say they forgive Britt, but said she needs help and they want nothing to do with her.
“We never had any idea these children suffered this much abuse at the hands of someone who is supposed to protect them,” the statement said.
The children, they told the court, are safe and happy.