A northeast Missouri woman has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for child molestation and statutory sodomy.

gavel thumbnailMissouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) announced Monday that Melinda Tillitt, 39, of Shelbina, has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for five counts of first degree statutory sodomy and one count of child molestation.

Koster says Tillitt sexually abused two female children in her household by engaging in deviate sexual intercourse, and, at times, held the victims under water to compel compliance.

Koster has released a statement, which says: “It is unimaginable that a parent would so betray the trust of her children. The long sentence gives them a measure of security that they will not be hurt by her again.”

Koster says Shelbina Police investigated the case, after the victims told a trusted church member.

Shelby County Prosecutor Jordan Force tried the case, with the assistance of the Attorney General’s office. The case was heard on a change of venue by a Macon County jury. Macon County Circuit Judge Rick Tucker sentenced Melinda Tillitt.

Tillitt’s husband, Kevin, is charged with rape and sodomy in the case. His trial is scheduled to begin in May 2017 in Adair County in Kirksville, on a change of venue.