No jail time for woman who plotted rape prank

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SAN DIEGO -- A former “Mother of the Year" who pleaded guilty to felony stalking was sentenced Friday to one year of electronic surveillance and five years of probation.

Kathy J. Rowe, 53, had been being charged with soliciting the rape of a woman who bought a Carmel Valley home they both wanted.

In court, Rowe said she was sorry for what she put the woman and her husband through.

“I just wanted to say how humiliated I am by my behavior – that this is not representative of who I am. I’ve never behaved like this – never will again," said Rowe.

According to the prosecution, Rowe -- a former county employee -- placed an online sex ad sometime between October 2011 and June 2012 inviting men to come to the victim's home and rape her.

A Superior Court judge originally dismissed the sex solicitation charges, but the District Attorney's Office appealed the decision and the 4th District Court of Appeal reinstated them.

Defense attorney Brad Patton said his client -- named “Mother of the Year'' in 2007 for the work she did for her disabled daughter, wanted to buy the home in Carmel Valley to be in that school district and better care for her child.

Rowe made it clear to detectives that she posted the “prank'' ad due to the stress she was under, and at no time did she intend to do any harm to the victim, according to Patton.

The couple targeted by Rowe also talked in court about how they felt terrorized by her attacks.

“The home should be a place of safety and sanctuary. But I never truly felt this way in our house. I felt most secure away from my home. The house became my prison," said Janice Ruhter.

Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh said Rowe placed the ad on Craigslist, encouraging men to contact the homeowner for sexual favors while her husband was away. The prosecutor said the solicitation and stalking counts were filed because the defendant's actions went far beyond a harmless prank.

“Had law enforcement not intervened in this case, I am certain Mrs. Rowe would have continued her attacks until she successfully brought physical harm to a member of my family," said Jerald Rice.

In return for her plea to stalking, prosecutors dismissed felony charges of solicitation for rape, solicitation for sodomy and misdemeanor charges of identity theft and making annoying or threatening communication.

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