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Woman accused of raping 5-year-old still jailed awaiting trial

Rene Stutzman, Sentinel, November 25, 2007

Eleven years ago, Kelly Lumadue, then 21, had sex with a 5-year-old boy.
There's no disputing it. It was captured on videotape. But should she
spend the rest of her life in prison?

In June, a Seminole County jury watched those tapes and convicted her of
two counts of capital sexual battery. Before she could be sentenced --
and the only sentence allowed by Florida law is life without the
possibility of parole -- a judge ordered a new trial.

Hers is a difficult case. The crime happened so long ago and the victim
was so young, he no longer remembers it.

Also, Lumadue testified that her husband, a professional pornographer,
forced her to make the tapes. She was very young, and her then-husband,
Leonard "Buddy" Lumadue Jr., was in his mid-30s. He had sexually abused
her for years, starting when she was a teenager, according to court

"I think," said her lawyer Adam Reiss, "Kelly Lumadue was a victim as well."

Lumadue, now 32, remains in the Seminole County Jail, awaiting her new

The sex tapes were made in 1996 in the Longwood-area home Lumadue shared with her husband. They weren't discovered, however, for seven years,
until a Deltona garbage collector took home some videotapes he found on
the job.

Buddy Lumadue had just died of cancer.

"I didn't know what to do with them," Kelly Lumadue told a Seminole County deputy, "and my dad said, 'You need to get rid of these.'"

Some she threw into a dumpster behind a sandwich shop. Others she hauled
to the curb in a garbage bag. 

Viewing the tapes

Lumadue confessed during that interview with the deputy. She also looked
at the tapes. 

"I'm going to throw up," she said at one point.

She also told the story of her life with Buddy Lumadue. He had been a
house painter but discovered he could make money producing pornography. He made lots of videotapes, she said "We made one major production," she told the deputy, a film called Redemption.

She had met him when she was 15. He and his then-wife befriended her,
and she moved into their spare bedroom because she didn't get along with
her mother, she told the deputy.

She moved out of state but moved back at age 19, about the time Buddy
Lumadue's wife moved out permanently, she said.

Kelly and Buddy got married when she was 21, she told the deputy. By
then, she was appearing in his sex tapes.

Buddy Lumadue pressured her for two months to have sex with the boy, she
told the deputy.

"It was something that he really, really wanted me to do," she said.

No memory, no harm?

The boy, now age 16, was not a witness at her trial. He does not
remember what happened. That is significant, wrote Circuit Judge Clayton
Simmons, who presided over her trial, then ordered a new one.

"The fact that the defendant faces a Draconian punishment for a crime where the victim is alive and apparently living a normal life some eleven years after the criminal act, when criminals who have killed people are released from prison almost daily, makes it even more imperative that the defendant receive a fair and impartial trial . . . ," he wrote.

But just because the boy does not remember, does that mean he was unharmed?

That is impossible to know, said Dr. Barbara Mara, an Altamonte Springs
psychologist whose specialties include child sexual abuse. It could mean
that the sex was not traumatic for him, or it could mean that it was so
traumatic he's blocked all memory of it, she said. It could "still be
inside of him somewhere festering," she said. If that's the case, the
emotional damage could be severe.

Under Florida law, however, the damage to the child is irrelevant, said
Christopher Slobogin, a professor at the Levin College of Law at the
University of Florida. The defendant either committed the crime or she
didn't. The Florida Legislature meant to be very tough on those who
commit this type of crime, he said. What the case points out, Slobogin
said, is the weakness of mandatory sentences. 

"Mandatory sentencing is a bad idea because it removes judicial
discretion," he said. "And judicial discretion is the only way to ensure just sentences."

Rene Stutzman can be reached at or

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