Charlene Stites likely will be heading to jail when she is sentenced in December after pleading "no contest" Thursday to repeated sexual assault of a child.
Stites, 43, of Manitowoc, also pleaded no contest to two of the three counts of felony bail jumping with which she was charged. The third count was dismissed, though she acknowledged responsibility for that count and it may be considered during sentencing.
The county will complete a pre-sentence investigation and a psychological evaluation of Stites in preparation for the Dec. 22 sentencing hearing.
As part of Stites' plea agreement, Assistant District Attorney Jerilyn Dietz said she will recommend no more than five years' imprisonment for the repeated sexual assault of a child charge, followed by six to seven years' probation for the bail jumping felonies.
Stites is one of six in her family to be charged with a sex-related felony stemming from a police investigation earlier this year.
Her husband, Michael Stites, was sentenced earlier this month to 45 years in prison, which includes 20 years in Brown County after revocation of the probation he was on following a 1999 sexual assault of the then-14-year-old babysitter of his children, and 25 years in Manitowoc County after being convicted of sexually assaulting two more young female victims.
Judge Darryl Deets, reading the criminal complaint, indicated on Thursday that Charlene Stites took part in some of the sexual assaults committed by her husband, Michael Stites. The no-contest plea means she admits to having engaged in sexual contact with a now-17-year-old girl at least three times in 2008.
She also is convicted of writing letters to Michael Stites while he was in jail. Part of her bail agreement was that she not contact any known sex offender, which included Michael Stites.
Her attorney, Charles Wingrove, indicated during the hearing that Charlene Stites agreed to the maximum probation sentence for the felony bail jumping convictions because of the nature of the sexual assault charge.
"These are very serious charges, deeply disturbing," Wingrove said.
The sexual assault charge carries a maximum 25 years' initial imprisonment and 15 years' extended supervision, but Dietz said she will recommend no more than five years in jail.