A Hartland couple, charged with predatory sexual assault against a child, have less than a month to decide whether they will take a plea offer from prosecutors or face more criminal counts.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Baerhe said on Thursday that she will seek a “superseding indictment” against Robert and Elizabeth Wood if they fail to take a plea offer when they return to court Feb. 6.

The Woods are accused of repeatedly abusing a girl younger than 11 years old between June 2015 and March 2017. Robert Wood, 56, and his wife Elizabeth, 30, have been jailed since their arrest in December 2018.

They have pleaded not guilty to predatory sexual assault charges.

Baerhe indicated that new charges in the superseding indictment could involve different victims.

The pair are scheduled to stand trial in March, but defense attorneys told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon that a new indictment would require a postponement.

Elizabeth Wood’s mother, Melinda Rich, is already serving a 15-year prison sentence for abusing the same victim. Rich, 56, of Middleport, previously pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.

In her plea, Rich admitted to engaging in sexual conduct with the victim at least twice between June 2015 and March 2017.

Rich, as a condition of her plea, agreed to to cooperate in the case against her daughter and son-in-law.

Recommended for you