OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma woman convicted of using a counterfeit check had herself medically sterilized at the suggestion of the judge, who said he would consider it during her sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot made the suggestion to 34-year-old Summer Thyme Creel in June, The Oklahoman reported. In his order, the judge noted that Creel had relinquished her parental rights to six of her seven children.
"Comparing the dates of Ms. Creel's periods of habitual use of crack cocaine and methamphetamine ... with the dates of birth of her seven children, it appears highly likely that some of Ms. Creel's children were conceived, carried and born while Ms. Creel was a habitual user of these illicit substances," the judge wrote in his order.
Friot said he can consider anything about Creel's background, character and conduct during sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Perry, though, asked the judge not consider the procedure during sentencing, saying Creel has a fundamental constitutional right to procreate and that she had an interest in the procedure prior to the court order.
"Furthermore, Creel's decision to have (or not have) additional children is sufficiently removed from the type of criminal activity involved in this case that such a factor is irrelevant to determining a sentence," the prosecutor wrote.
Creel pleaded guilty last year to using a counterfeit check at a Walmart in Moore in 2014. Her sentencing is scheduled for this month.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com