AUGUSTA — A Monmouth woman was sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child between the ages of 11 and 13 multiple times and photographing some of the incidents.

Natasha Venable, 47, pleaded guilty to 22 charges and was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy to 30 years on charges of gross sexual assault, or rape, of a child, and another 10 years, to be served after the 30-year term, on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Once released from prison, Venable is to remain under supervision for the rest of her life.

Venable sexually assaulted the child on an almost daily basis between 2020 and 2022 in Maine, although a state prosecutor said the sexual assaults began three years earlier in another state.

Another child made allegations of sexual assault occurring over several years, although those allegations were not charged or prosecuted.

Venable was found guilty of three counts of gross sexual assault, one count of unlawful sexual contact, one count of unlawful sexual touching, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and 14 counts of possession of sexually explicit materials.


Murphy said the impact on the young victim in the case was a major aggravating factor in determining Venable’s sentence.

“The impact on her is deep and profound, and perhaps lifelong,” Murphy said of the victim, who has since moved with her family to another state.

Murphy said the victim is sometimes suicidal, suffers from significant depression, lives in constant fear and “has lived for years trying to find some control in her life and some safe haven where she is not subjected to the brutal sexual attacks of the defendant.”

Venable spoke only briefly in court, saying she had tried to write a statement to read in court, but it just sounded hollow. She said there is nothing she can do that would be adequate to fix the damage she has done.

“There’s no apology I can offer that can heal the pain,” Venable said.

Murphy said Venable’s threat to the public is significant and undeniable, so Venable will be required after her release from prison to be supervised by officials for the rest of her life.


Venable will be required to register on the Maine Sex Offender Registry, have no contact with the victim, have no contact with minors and take part in sex offender counseling. She also cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, park or playground.

In a telephone conversation with the victim’s parent, Venable said she had no recollection of sexually assaulting the child, but said if the child said she did it, she must have done it.

Venable’s lawyer, Jennifer Cohen, said a clinical psychiatrist who evaluated Venable determined she suffers from multiple mental health disorders and her claims of not remembering the incidents were legitimate.

An affidavit filed by Sgt. Dana Wessling of the Monmouth Police Department states Venable is a registered sex offender in Illinois and listed there as a sexual predator.

Testimony at Thursday’s sentencing indicated Venable is on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry because she was convicted while in the Army of possessing child pornography.

Prosecutor Amanda Seekins, an assistant district attorney, said Venable was caught in 2006 with 32,000 still images and 763 videos of child sex abuse, for which she served five months after being court-martialed.


The 14 counts of possessing sexually explicit materials in Maine state that between Oct. 13, 2021, and Aug. 25, 2022, Venable possessed images or material she knew or should have known depicted children younger than 16 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. All but one of the images was of the same child victim in the sexual assaults.

Cohen, who had argued for a sentence of 15 years, said Venable had an outstanding record of service in the military, winning numerous commendations. The lawyer also noted Venable had been diagnosed with multiple mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and panic disorder.

When Venable was confronted by a parent of the child during a telephone conversation recorded by Monmouth police, portions of which were played in court Thursday, Venable said she regretted — but did not remember — what she had done, promised to get help and pleaded for them not to involve the police.

The victim told a child advocate interviewer that Venable began touching her when the child was 10 years old, and it progressed to sexual assault.

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