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Crime News

Michigan Couple Sentenced In Horrific Child And Sexual Abuse Case

A judge in Michigan sentenced Jeremiah Page and Kristina Sterly, both 37 years old, in a case where two teenage girls were repeatedly sexually assaulted,

By Caitlin Schunn
Police handouts of Jeremiah Page and Kristina Sterly

WARNING: This story deals with child sexual abuse and may be disturbing.

A Michigan couple at the center of a years-long sexual and child abuse case will spend more than a decade behind bars. On Monday, a judge sentenced Jeremiah Page and Kristina Sterly, both 37 years old, in a case where two teenage girls were repeatedly sexually assaulted and impregnated on three separate occasions, according to Law&Crime.

Page was sentenced to a minimum of 62 years on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree child abuse, according to CBS station WWTV/WWUP-TV in Cadillac, Michigan. Sterly was sentenced to 10 to 15 years on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree child abuse.

The Emmet County Sheriff told the station Page and Sterly were involved in one of the worst cases of child abuse he’d ever seen. Both pleaded guilty back in October.

Child protective services and the Emmet County Sheriff’s office began investigating the possibility that two underage girls were the victims of sex crimes back in February, according to WWTV/WWUP-TV.

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When detectives contacted Sterly about a teenage girl who lived with her and Page, who was pregnant, Sterly denied the pregnancy, before later admitting it, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the station. A jailhouse phone call later that month revealed Page raped the teenager, causing her pregnancy. Detectives later learned Page raped another girl who lived with him and Sterly and got that girl pregnant at least twice. That girl told detectives Page punched her in the stomach to end the pregnancies, but she ended up giving birth.

Sterly and Page made this arrangement in 2018, the affidavit said. Page admitted to sexual intercourse with one victim on three separate occasions. Page admitted to intercourse with a second victim 12 to 13 times. 

Page was asked if the second victim had children during the two pregnancies, according to the affidavit from the Emmet County District Court, obtained by Traverse City NBC/ABC station WPBN/WGTU.

"Page said 'yes,'" according to the documents from that station. "Page was asked if that meant they would find a skeleton and Page said 'no' because Sterly threw the bodies into a fire pit and burned them up."

It’s unclear what happened with the third child, according to WPBN/WGTU.

Investigators told WPBN/WGTU they searched the couple's property, but tests did not identify any human remains.