February 22, 2008

Lisa Lynnette Clark to be Released from Prison

The following is a compilation of two newspaper reports I've combined. Links to the original newspaper articles online can be found below.

Lisa Lynette Clark, the Hall County woman whose 2005 marriage to a 15-year-old boy 22 years her junior made national headlines, is scheduled to be released from a Georgia prison on Friday.

Clark, who was was pregnant with the boy's son when the two were married by a retired Dawson County probate judge in the driveway of his home, is finishing a two-year prison sentence for helping her teenage husband flee the state. The teenager, who was on probation for a burglary and was in a group home in DeKalb County, was caught in Ohio and returned to Georgia.

On Nov. 8, 2005, Clark, who was then 37, and her teenage lover, were married, taking advantage of a legal loophole that allowed a minor to marry without permission from a parent or guardian if the bride is pregnant.

But a day after the two were married, authorities in Hall County, where Clark and the teenager lived, issued a warrant for her arrest, charging her with child molestation. Later that month, a Hall County grand jury indicted Clark on charges of child molestation, statutory rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Clark was released on bail, but arrested the following February in Douglas County after authorities determined that, contrary to her repeated denials, she had been communicating with her teenage husband after he ran away from a state group home in DeKalb County.

"We believe he went [to Ohio] on a Greyhound bus that she arranged," Douglas County District Attorney David McDade said.

McDade said Clark also sent money and a prepaid cellphone to the teenager in Ohio, where he was taken back into custody near Cleveland.

"Our information is that she hoped to get him out of state, hide him from Hall County authorities, prevent them from prosecuting him there, then reunite with them," McDade said.

In March, 2006, Clark pleaded guilty as a first offender to statutory rape and spent nine months in the Hall County Jail. During that time, she gave birth to a 7-pound, 9-ounce son she named Skye Cobain Gonzalez, in part to honor the late Kurt Cobain, founder of the rock group Nirvana. The baby was placed in a foster home.

In May 2006, Clark pleaded guilty to helping her husband escape from state custody, and was sentenced to two years in jail. She was transferred to the state prison system, and has most recently been incarcerated at the Metro State Prison.

Georgia Department of Corrections spokesman Paul Czachowski on Thursday confirmed Clark's prison release date but declined for security reasons to provide details.

Georgia's state law sets the marrying age at 16, but had allowed an exception for younger people to marry if the bride was pregnant. The law was changed in 2006, and now 16- and 17-year-olds can wed only with the approval of a parent or guardian and a probate judge.

Clark gave birth while behind bars and agreed to leave the child with foster parents in Douglas County.

Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation in April 2006 closing a loophole in state law that allowed couples of any age to get married without parental consent in the case of a pregnancy.

Woman who married boy, 15, leaves prison Friday
Woman who had child with boy groom to be released from prison

Posts of mine on Lisa Lynnette Clark:
  • Lisa Lynnette Clark Gonzalez Speaks
  • Lisa Lynnette Clark to be Released from prison
  • What Ever Happened To... Lisa Lynnette Clark
  • Lisa Lynnette Clark Timeline
  • Lisa Lynnette Clark gives Birth
  • Desperate American Women?
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