GARDNER, Kan. – Those who know an 18-year-old Olathe woman accused of aggravated criminal sodomy say she is no monster but a victim herself.
FOX 4 News has learned that Ashleigh Geist’s father was sentenced to prison in May for molesting Ashleigh and another daughter.
A family friend of the Geists says if the allegations against Ashleigh Geist are true, her troubled past is not an excuse for her actions, but rather an explanation for how a teen could commit such a horrible crime against a 3-year-old boy.
Because of the age of the victim, the Johnson County District Attorney is seeking a life sentence. But less than three months ago, Geist was working with prosecutors, this time as the victim testifying against her father.
David Geist Sr., 40, was convicted of two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. He’s currently serving more than five years in prison.
“When you’re a victim, you can’t help what you’ve been taught as a victim,” said Bobbie Weaver, a family friend who’s known Ashleigh Geist since she was four year old. “There’s a story behind the predator, or the molester. There’s a victim there too. Her father was her predator.”
Weaver says David Geist took Ashleigh Geist out on the road while he worked as a tractor trailer driver. The girl thought she was going to explore the world with her father. Instead, Weaver says he molested her.
Ashleigh Geist reported the crime but later recanted her story. Weaver says it wasn’t until her father started molesting her younger sister that both girls testified against him and put their dad behind bars.
“They don’t understand what they’re being taught,” Weaver said. “Especially when it’s your parent that does it. They are supposed to be the protector. You’re supposed to look up to your parents and your parents are supposed to protect you and love you forever. You would never think your own father would do something like this to his child.”
Ashleigh Geist recently bragged on Twitter about scoring a 29 on her ACT test. Weaver says she had enrolled in college classes and was looking forward to a fresh start in life.
Now, Weaver believes David Geist is the root cause of the criminal charges that may ruin his daughter’s life.
Weaver also says she feels very sorry for the 3-year-old victim in this latest case.
If Ashleigh Geist is convicted, Weaver says she needs to be punished. But she also says the crime may never have happened if the girl received counseling help after being a sexual abuse victim herself.