The stepdaughter of a Toledo pastor convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl has requested release from jail prior to sentencing due to the coronavirus outbreak in detention centers.
A judge sentenced Anthony Haynes to life in prison for grooming a girl to have sex with him and two other pastors.
Prior to Haynes’ trial, his wife, Alisa Haynes, and his stepdaughter, Alexis Fortune, went to the victim’s apartment in January, 2018, and forced her to leave with them as they attempted to convince her to change her testimony against Haynes. The victim, Taniece Temple, took the stand in the case, detailing years of abuse. She has previously spoken publicly about her case.
Fortune entered a plea Nov. 12 in U.S. District Court in Toledo to tampering with a witness and faces up to four years in prison. She has been held at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio since Jan. 5, 2019.
While sentencing was scheduled for April 29 before visiting Judge Bernard Friedman, it was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and a new date has yet to be set.
On Friday, attorneys Sanford Schulman and Stefanie Lambert Junttila filed a motion to revoke her order of detention pending sentencing.
According to the motion, Fortune was treated in the past for respiratory difficulties and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis — or specifically a sudden onset “chest cold,” according to a medical document for Fortune from September 2018.
Based on information provided to the attorneys by Fortune’s fiance, Ron Dysard, the “defendant believes she could have asthma,” and “she would like to obtain an official diagnosis to determine if she has asthma and needs an inhaler.”
Fortune is concerned that she would have severe respiratory distress if she were to contact the coronavirus, court records show.
While the jail stopped accepting prisoners on April 7, the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio is again accepting inmates, according to executive director Dennis Sullivan.
If released, her attorneys say Fortune would live with Dysard and suggested that she be placed on house arrest.
The prosecutor will have the opportunity to respond to the motion and a hearing has yet to be set. As of Friday afternoon, Fortune’s mother had not made a similar request.