GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A 30-year-old Portage woman will spend the next 15 years in prison after sending sexual photos of a baby to a man she was in a relationship with.

Rachel Marie Burrell was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay fines and other monetary penalties on Thursday, May 16.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Burrell took sexually explicit photos of an infant that was in her care and forwarded the images to a man she was in a relationship with. She also made the infant available to that man, knowing that he would sexually assault the baby. The infant's foster parents said the victim suffers from night terrors and a sensory processing disorder as a result of the abuse.

“Children, and infants in particular, are some of our most vulnerable victims and my office is dedicated to seeking justice when they are harmed,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. 

The case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, and federal, state, and local law enforcement work closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children.  

For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/miw/programs/psc.html

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