What began as a child molestation prosecution ends in the sentencing for a Bullhead City man for raising children in an extremely dirty house. Sex offense charges against 39-year-old Franklin Coontz end in a watered down plea agreement convicting Coontz of two counts of child abuse. While Coontz had been charged with molesting his daughters, the case hinged on the availability of the older daughter to testify against her father.  Prosecutor Greg McPhillips explained that the teenage victim ran away and that the younger daughter would not speak about the sex offenses.   McPhillips was left with the abuse convictions because both children were living in a horrendously filthy house, full of rotting food and garbage. “This environment endangered the health of the children,” McPhillips said. The mother of the younger daughter who would not speak of the alleged sex offenses told the Court that something more than a dirty house had traumatized the girl. She told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steve Conn that her daughter lives in fear and refers to her father as “a monster” during therapy and counseling sessions. Judge Conn explained that the dismissed sex offense charges disappear in the plea agreement and that he could sentence Coontz for no more than poor parenting and sloppy housekeeping. Conn said it was disturbing to learn that conditions in the home were so bad that Coontz’ daughter had to deal with school ridicule and being labeled as “the stinky girl.” `I should have done a better job keeping up the house. The responsibility ends with me,” Coontz said, informing the Court that he leaves his fate in the hands of God. “I’ll let him take care of it.”  Judge Conn ordered a 75 day jail sentence and three years probation for Coontz.

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