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AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS PUBLICLY DISTRIBUTED HANDOUT PHOTO PROVIDED BY LICKING COUNTY, OHIO, SHERIFF�S OFFICE. MANDATORY CREDIT

An Ohio man sexually assaulted his stepdaughter and then married her before she killed their three sons one-by-one, authorities said.

Joseph Pilkington, 43, sexually assaulted his future wife, Brittany, while he was living in her house in 2009, according to an indictment made public Thursday. He controlled and isolated her, leading her to suffocate their boys out of jealousy for the attention he gave them, Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee said.

“After raising her as one of his daughters for years, he had sexual intercourse with her when she was 17 and got her pregnant,” according to the indictment.

Joseph Pilkington moved in with Brittany and her mom when she was 9 years old, the indictment said. When he took her to doctor’s appointments and school as a child, he identified himself as her father. He also paid for her living expenses, food and shelter.

Brittany’s mom said she didn’t mind when her husband started taking up romantically with her daughter instead.

He was arrested in Newark, Ohio, Thursday.

Joseph Pilkington was not home when his wife systematically suffocated their sons, ranging in age from 3 months to 4 years, between July 2014 and August 2015, police said.

Brittany Pilkington, 23, was charged with three counts of murder and was jailed Tuesday, said police in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Brittany Pilkington confessed to police she killed her sons so her daughter, 3-year-old Hailey, would get more attention from her father, they said.

Logan County Children’s Services had temporary custody of the children in May after launching a neglect investigation a month earlier following the death of the couple’s 4-year-old son, Gavin, in April and a baby brother, Niall, the previous July.

A week after a judge returned parental custody, Brittany calmly called 911 to report 3-month-old Noah wasn’t breathing in their apartment in Bellefontaine, police said.

Pilkington had made a similarly stoic call in April for 4-year-old Gavin and again in July 2014 for 3-month-old Niall from her home in Bellefontaine, about 60 miles northwest of Columbus.

Pilkington later told authorities she placed blankets over the heads of all her boys to suffocate them.

“In her mind, she was protecting her daughter from being not as loved as the boys were by their father,” Logan County prosecutor William Goslee told the Columbus Dispatch.

The girl, 3-year-old Hailey, was placed in protective custody with a county welfare agency.

Brittany Pilkington had initially told police she believed her children died from a genetic problem, but authorities began to doubt her story with the circumstances of Noah’s death, 10TV reported.

“The tragic deaths of Niall, Gavin and Noah leave a pit in our stomachs today,” Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon K. Standley said.

Relatives were furious the kids were in Brittany Pilkington’s clutches for so long.

“Why would you give them back after a little boy just died and when you’re in the middle of an investigation?” Brittany Pilkington’s uncle, Joe Skaggs, told the Dispatch outside his niece’s apartment.

James Breaston, who lives across the hall from the shrinking family, said he was home in April when Gavin died. He said he consoled Joseph, but Brittany did not need to be comforted.

‘He was crying, the tears were rolling, and she was just cold,’ Breaston told the Dispatch. ‘She just stared like nothing happened.’

He said that when he saw police arrive on Tuesday morning he thought, ‘Oh, there’s another baby dead.’

Joseph Pilkington’s brother, Jim, told the Dispatch that he found it odd his sister-in-law had been smiling at Gavin’s funeral.

She pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated murder and faces the death penalty. She remains in jail on $1 million bond.

Ohio Man Sexually Assaulted His Stepdaughter – Then Married Her – Then She killed their 3 Sons

Ohio Man Sexually Assaulted His Stepdaughter – Then Married Her – Then She killed their 3 Sons

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