Court Overturns Child Abuse Conviction

This article is more than 9 years old.

The state Appeals Court has overturned the conviction of a Lowell woman who, along with her husband, had been found guilty of drugging, raping and beating their four sons.

The court ruled that Nancy Adkinson might not have been competent to stand trial 14 years ago in one of the state's most horrific child-abuse cases.

The justices say there's substantial evidence Adkinson suffered from "battered woman syndrome," and that her husband forced her to accept his version of events.

Adkinson claims she was a victim herself, that her husband forced her to participate in raping the boys, and forced them all to take cocaine.

The court granted the motion for a new trial for Adkinson, and overturned her 35-to-40-year sentence. She'll remain in prison for the time being.

This program aired on October 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.