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"Thank you for getting me out"; Family defends mom guilty of child rape

Deborah Sena, 49, appears in court Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. [Sergio Avila | News3LV]

It was an emotional day in court as a mother who admitted to raping her own children was sentenced to life in prison.

Deborah Sena, 49, plead guilty to one count of sexual assault in case prosecutors say involved Sena's own children.

Deborah maintains it was her ex-husband, Christopher Sena who forced her into the criminal acts through extreme abuse, both emotional and physical.

Those same children, who were victims in the case, stood in the courtroom and spoke in Deborah's defense

"She helped us get out of there. She helped drive us to the safe house," said one of the children.

They asked a judge to try and understand what their mother had endured.

"I've seen Deborah take beatings for us even though they were aimed for us. I saw that she was hit by hammers, I saw she was hit over tables. I've heard the worst," said a family member. "Thank you, thank you for getting me out of there. Thank you for getting my brothers out of there. Although they say all these things about you, you are still a good mom. You did the best that you can," they continued.

Judge Kerry Early spoke about how sensitive this case was.

"I think there's a tragedy all around," said Early. "I understand that it's unfathomable but you know what, unless you walk in somebody's shoes it's awfully tough, Early continued.

Prosecutors said regardless of the mother's plight, videos prove sexual crimes happened. Not just once, but time and time again.

"She was their last line of defense and she failed them," said Mary Kay Holthus, the prosecutor of the case. "There's never a no, there's never a cry, there's never a please don't make me. None of that exists," she continued.

Deborah's attorney Josh Tomsheck says the videos show only one part of the horrors occurring in that house, but fail to document the abuse.

He told the judge Deborah taking responsibility for that action will actually put her in a better situation than where she was.

"Ten years to life in prison is a heck of a lot better than being in the prison of a home she endured with her codefendant for years," said Tomsheck.

Christopher Sena's first ex-wife Terrie Sena was also sentenced to the same term for her involvement in the case. Prosecutors say there were, at least, eight children involved.

News 3 spoke to Deborah's family after the hearing. They feel the district attorney's office has failed them for not siding completely with Deborah.

They feel the father, in this case, Christopher Sena is getting exactly what he wants by having Deborah go to prison.

Christopher Sena's case is still moving forward. It's currently scheduled for November 9th.

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