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Oklahoma judge dismisses review of abused woman who failed to report child abuse by boyfriend

SHAWNEE, Okla. - An Oklahoma judge has dismissed a lawsuit to re-examine the case of a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for failing to report that her boyfriend abused her children. The boyfriend served two years.

It was back in 2004 when Tondalao Hall and her boyfriend, Robert Braxton, were arrested for child abuse. The Oklahoma division of the American Civil Liberties Union said she was also abused but didn’t know about the child abuse.

“In fact, the night Robert broke Tondalao’s son’s femur bone, Tondalao was out with her father searching for a home in an attempt to leave Robert Braxton,” said Allie Shinn with ACLU Oklahoma.

In 2006, she was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years.

“Tondalao Hall is a woman that has been incarcerated under a statute called ‘failure to protect,’” Shinn said.

Hall was convicted on four counts, her boyfriend was convicted on only two. He pleaded guilty to child abuse and was released on probation with credit for time served.

“They charged both Tondalao and her abuser as co-defendants,” Shin said. “But, what we’re concerned about is that, while Robert only served two years in county jail, Tondalao was sentenced to 30 years for not protecting her children sufficiently from abuse she didn’t even know was happening.”

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition calling 33-year-old Tondalao Hall's sentence disproportionate. 

Pottawatomie County District Judge John Canavan on Tuesday rejected the petition, saying it was filed in the wrong county.

ACLU spokeswoman Allie Shinn called Hall's sentence a "dramatic miscarriage of justice," saying the organization will file a new petition.