Wrongful conviction? Valley woman's molestation conviction under question

- A Valley mother has spent over a decade in prison, for a crime she did not commit, until she was released from prison in November.

After spending 11 years behind bars for allegedly assaulting a teenage boy, Courtney Bisbee is now back home with her parents in Phoenix.

Bisbee claims she did not commit the crime she was accused of committing.

The nightmare, at least in the eyes of Bisbee, began in February 2004, when she went from being a school nurse and a single mother to a four-year-old daughter, to becoming a suspect facing molestation charges involving a teen boy.

Bisbee then became a defendant, and then a convict.

The boy who made the accusation is Jon Valles. Valles, then 13, had alleged that while he and a group of teens were at a friend's house in Scottsdale, Bisbee had touched him below the waist, and allowed him to fondle her.

Bisbee then wound up in court, facing two charges of child molestation, which she was eventually convicted on.

"Please, I'm begging you," pleaded Bisbee back in 2006. "Please don't send me away. I want to see my niece grow up. I want to see my daughter grow up, but I don't have an effective attorney."

Bisbee spent 11 years at Perryville Prison, west of Phoenix. She now lives in Goodyear, and is trying to adjust to her new life.

"It's been the worst nightmare of my life, just the journey of it, because I always believed in the system, and I always believed the truth would prevail," said Bisbee.

Instead, Bisbee claims, lies prevailed.

Lies, Bisbee claims, told by one Janette Sloan, who Bisbee believes coerced her two sons, Jon Valles and 15-year-old Nik, to concoct the molestation story, so she could sue the Paradise Valley School District.

In 2007, signs of cracks appeared in the story, by way of a bombshell by Nik. He filed a deposition with the court, which said his mother coerced Jon into making the accusation up. Nik said his mother told his brother, Jon, that if he did it, he'd be a "rich kid".

In an interview with the boy's father, Gene, in 2007, Gene said he always knew the boys were lying about Bisbee, and said the boys continued to lie, because Sloan made them.

"He had to because he was living with mom, and the conditions he was living with, she had her thumb on him," said Gene back in 2007. "You said one bad thing in contradiction to what we're talking about, you'll get your (expletive) kicked."

Despite the new revelations, Bisbee remained behind bars. In 2010, a New York attorney who said she saw serious issues with how Bisbee was arrested and convicted, took the Bisbee case.

"I would certainly say there was a witch hunt against Courtney Bisbee," said Erica Dubno. She and Bisbee are now working to clear Bisbee's name, through a Federal court case.

Attempts were made to reached the accuser, and the accuser's mother, Janette Sloan, for comments.

Neither the accuser nor Janette Sloan responded to the requests for comment.

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