JANESVILLE

What happened to Precious L. Bailey as a child was so horrible the attorneys and judge at her hearing Wednesday said almost nothing about it.

And what the 30-year-old Beloit woman did to her 63-year-old companion last fall also was so horrible the attorneys did not discuss the details.

The first set of horrible events led to the second set many years later, in the opinion of a psychologist, and that’s why the defense, prosecution and judge agreed the right thing for Bailey is long-term, in-custody mental treatment, not prison.

Bailey pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault by use of a weapon, aggravated battery of an elderly person and false imprisonment, all as acts of domestic abuse.

Then, with both attorneys agreeing, Judge Barbara McCrory found Bailey not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Wisconsin law requires the two-step, seemingly contradictory procedure, in such cases.

McCrory committed Bailey to the care of the state Department of Health Services for a maximum 40 years, although Bailey could petition the court to be released earlier if she is found to have recovered sufficiently.

On Oct. 23, Bailey confronted the man, whom she had lived with for 10 years, and threatened to kill him if he did not admit he had molested her young child, according to the criminal complaint.

Bailey beat him with her fists and a piece of weather stripping, burned him with a cigarette lighter and sodomized him with a screwdriver, according to the complaint. Bailey admitted she hit him until she blacked out.

Bailey kept the man from leaving throughout the night. Then she allowed him to go buy cigarettes for her the next morning, according to the complaint.

Bailey told an investigator she had received visions through tarot cards, and because of that, she was convinced the man had molested her child.

The victim has suffered strokes that left him without the ability to control parts of his body, so he was not able to defend himself, Assistant District Attorney Richard Sullivan said.

The victim had no malice toward Bailey and understands she needs mental treatment, “but he wanted the court to know just how brutalizing this was,” Sullivan said.

Defense attorney Jason Sanders said Bailey suffers from “neuro-chemical imbalances” but also from a fixation that something is happening to her child because of what happened to her as a child.

Because of her low income, Bailey went from provider to provider and never got treated adequately, Sanders said, but she has improved markedly while in the Rock County Jail—not the best place for mental-health treatment—because she is seeing the same counselor and consistently receiving the same medication.

Bailey answered McCrory’s questions calmly and in a soft voice throughout the hearing. She apologized briefly for what she did.

McCrory alluded to “tragic things” that happened to Bailey at a time when she should have been protected as a child and developed “sort of an alter ego” that told her what to do.

Those things made Bailey very vigilant about her own child, McCrory said, referring to a psychologist’s report.

“Also, in terms of what you were forced to do to support yourself at a very young age, it can leave very lasting scars. And that’s the tragedy, I mean, this is a dual tragedy here,” McCrory said.