NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A woman from Northampton was found guilty of reckless endangerment of poisoning and medical child abuse of a 7-year-old child.
According to a news release sent to 22News from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, 39-year-old Julie Gordon (formerly Julie Conley) of Northampton was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment of a child. Gordon, listed as the child’s caregiver, was sentenced to probation until September 2023.
A 7-year-old girl underwent a seven-hour surgery in April 2015 to remove two-thirds of her small intestine and part of her bladder after she was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut with abdominal injuries for the third time.
The child’s father, Christopher Conley, was accused in May 2015 of injecting Liquid-Plumr into his daughter’s cecostomy tube then overdosing her on pain medication in an attempt to kill her. Conley was found guilty in February 2020 of attempted murder, assault and battery on a child by means of a dangerous weapon (opioids) and assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury. He was sentenced to 16-18 years in prison.
Department of Children and Families, Northampton Police and State Police opened an investigation that uncovered medical records that showed the child had suffered a lot of physical ailments. Julie Gordon, the child’s main caretaker, misrepresented the victim’s medical condition and consented to surgical procedures she knew carried the risk of scarring and impairment of bodily functions.
A hearing was held for Christopher Conley’s former wife and codefendant, Julie Gordon on Wednesday included facts during the investigation into the victim’s poisoning. Lead prosecutor Linda Pisano, Chief of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit, described the facts the Commonwealth would present if the case went to trial. Gordon tendered a “nolo contendere” plea in which she admitted the evidence against her was sufficient to convict her if the case went to trial.
“We feel it is abundantly clear that the defendant was in the driver’s seat when it came to the victim’s medical care. Today’s plea holds the defendant publicly accountable for her disturbing conduct, while providing some measure of closure, healing and justice for the victim. This disposition allows the victim and her family to close this particular chapter and move on with their lives.” First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne, who prosecuted the case with Pisano.
A statement was read by the victim’s adopted older sister that described the consequences her sister continues to face, emotionally and physically, after the years of medical abuse and unnecessary medical procedures but said her sister was still “the strongest person I know.”
Hampshire Superior Court Judge Richard Carey accepted the plea. Gordon was sentenced to probation until September 2023 which includes no contact with the victim, no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16, and no employment involving unsupervised contact with children.