10 life sentences


A Prague woman will spend the remainder of her life in prison after a Lincoln County District Judge handed down 10 life sentences following her conviction on numerous child sex crimes.

Cyrstal Lynn Bales, 35, was convicted by a jury in October on three counts of child sexual abuse, five counts of enabling child sexual abuse, child abuse by injury and child neglect.

The jury recommended a life sentence on every single count and a $5,000 fine on each of them as well.

District Judge Cynthia Ferrell Ashwood last month handed down 10 life sentences. Bales is to serve nine of those concurrently. On Count 7, one of the sexual abuse cases, Bales was ordered to serve that life term consecutive with the other nine.

In Count 7, the jury convicted Bales of sexual abuse by forcing two minor children under the age of 12 to engage in sexual contact with one another.

In Count 1, she was convicted of sexual abuse by forcing two minor children under the age of 12 to engage in sexual contact with her.

The jury convicted Bales on Count 8, child abuse by injury, of giving a minor under the age of 12 methamphetamine.

On Count 9, child neglect, she was convicted of exposing four minor children, all under the age of 12, to illegal drugs.

The convictions on enabling child abuse were Bales allowing another individual to sexually abuse minors all under the age of 12.

Each of the crimes Bales was convicted of occurred between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 27, 2017, the court records show.

Assistant District Attorney Greg Wilson prosecuted the case for the state and Wilson said he was assisted by the State Attorney General’s office.

“We were happy with the jury’s decision,”

“The evidence was overwhelming and the jury recommended the maximum sentence on all 10 counts,” Wilson said. “Life is considered 45 years, so she will spend the rest of her life in prison.”

Judge Ashwood advised Bales of her right to appeal and gave her credit for time served.

Notice of intent to appeal was filed on Dec. 21, court records show.

The charges were actually filed in 2018 by former District Attorney Richard Smothermon.