TAMPA (FOX 13) - In 2010, Nikki Summers' daughter was molested by Elizabeth Wirick and Wirick's boyfriend. This week, Wirick's sentence was going to be reduced.
Summers said no one told her what was happening. She discovered it during a sleepless night, browsing the internet.
"I looked at the prison website and it said, 'out of custody due to court,'" Summers recalled of the night she said she discovered an injustice. "Shocked and disgusted that the system failed for the victims."
So she set out to stop it.
"She plead out to over 20 plus sexual abuse charges... She got 30 years, which was a disappointment," Summers said. "So for them to let her out early, and us not be involved? That would have happened if we weren't here."
The Hillsborough Assistant State Attorney's Office offered an explanation for why a convicted child molesters' sentence would be reduced.
Spokesperson Mark Cox told FOX 13 News, "the defendant had maintained she was treated unfairly by the court. She alleged that she should have received a lesser sentence than her co-defendant, Richard Picco, based on her cooperation against him at trial."
He added, if the motion was granted, it could have led to a new trial and the young victim having to testify. Cox said the situation was a rare one, but the SAO felt it was in the best interest of the victim to negotiate a slightly lighter sentence.
So Assistant State Attorney Aaron Hubbard offered Wirick a proposal: 25 years in Florida State Prison and 15 years of probation. It would amount to a 5-year reduction in her sentence.
As the two sides prepared for her to accept the deal, Wirick - without explanation - decided to reject it.
Even Hillsborough Circuit Judge Michelle Sisco seemed confused.
"Are you making this decision on your own free will?" Judge Sisco asked Wirick, who replied, "yes ma'am."
Outside the courtroom there were high-fives and hugs for Summers and her family, who came to the court appearance in force.
Summers said she was convinced that family pressure, and the FOX 13 News cameras - which the defendant avoided the whole time - made the difference.
"I put my daughter's picture in all their faces. They were going to see her. She's a person and she's a victim and she deserves justice ,just like every other child," Summers said.