By Madeline Linnell
Former student Abigail Hanna was sentenced in mid-October to serve five to seven years in prison for breaking and entering, kidnapping a child and assaulting the child with a dangerous weapon. Hannah no longer was a Gordon student when she broke into a Hamilton household on the early morning of Nov. 20, 2015 and kidnapped a 2-year old from inside.
“The child was later found naked on the side of Newbury Road in Rowley by passer-by. The child’s head had been shaven and she had severe abrasions on her forehead and numerous circular burn marks on her body,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office stated in a news release. According to local news articles, Hanna had babysat for the child at least once.
Following her sentence, Hanna will face 10 years of probation. Hanna is mandated to stay away from the victim and her family by at least 100 yards.
Hanna admitted to the charges, pleading guilty during a hearing two weeks ago in Essex Superior Court in Salem. Prior to that court date, however, Hanna had pleaded not guilty, which is routine. Hanna was admitted to the Worcester Recovery Center after the incident, but since May 17, has been in Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Framingham.
Blodgett’s statement continued: “This defendant caused immeasurable harm to a young defenseless child and her family. Her actions warrant a state prison sentence and my only hope is that this provides the family with a reprieve during which they can re-build their sense of security.”
Court records indicate that after serving her sentence, Hannah will have to abide my special probation conditions that include wearing a GPS device for two years, continue to stay away from the victim and her family, staying out of the town of Hamilton, staying at least 50 yards from any school or playground and having no contact with children under the age of 16 without supervision. Hannah also must agree to alcohol and non-prescribed substance screenings, take Mental Health “evaluation and treatment as recommended by Probation” and register as a sex offender. This last consequence is due to the fact that she kidnapped a child, not because she sexually assaulted the victim.
One of Hanna’s friends from Gordon (who wishes to be kept unnamed) said in light of these happenings, “She was a very open person who engaged well with others and was willing to help out where she could make herself available. I was pretty astonished when I saw the stuff in the newspaper because she didn’t seem like that kind of person.”