ATTLEBORO — The highly-anticipated infanticide trial of Karen Robidoux is due to begin this week.
Robidoux’s infant son starved to death almost five years ago, allegedly because of cult-based religious beliefs.
Her husband, Jacques, was convicted in June 2002 of first-degree murder in Samuel Robidoux’s death and sentenced to life in prison. The couple were members of a small, Attleboro-based sect called “The Body.”
The sect, which was led by Jacques’ father, Roland Robidoux, rejects modern medicine, courts, government and schools.
The trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in Superior Court in Taunton, according to Karen Robidoux’s lawyer, Joseph Krowski, and the Bristol County district attorney’s office.
Karen Robidoux is being charged with second-degree murder in the 1999 death of her 11-month old son.
Krowski, of Brockton, Mass., said last month that the state had offered his client 10 years in prison in return for a guilty plea, a deal he considers unacceptable.
“I said we’d take time served and be done with it,” Krowski said.
“It’s an injustice. It’s improper what the Commonwealth is doing. The one good thing about this is that it’ll open a lot of eyes. She is totally innocent and once all the facts are known, it’ll become obvious that she was the next to die.”
After almost three years of incarceration, Robidoux was released on Oct. 1 from the Bristol County House of Corrections on $100,000 cash bail.
She had been in custody since being indicted in November 2000, with a preliminary trial date of January 2003.
However, after a psychiatric evaluation at Taunton State Hospital, it determined she was too emotionally unstable to undergo trial.
She received treatment through Sept. 25, when she was taken into custody by the Bristol County sheriff after Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Donovan ruled her competent to stand trial.
However, after almost three years of incarceration, Robidoux was released on Oct. 1 from the Bristol County House of Corrections on $100,000 bail.
According to Krowski, Karen Robidoux has severed all ties with the sect and is spending most of her time with family members in several New England states, including Rhode Island.
She is also receiving post-cult treatment addressing her almost lifelong association with Roland Robidoux’s sect, which is based in New Bedford, Mass.
Both Krowski and Francis O’Boy, a locally prominent defense attorneywho defended Jacques Robidoux, believe that Roland Robidoux, who has not been charged in the Samuel Robidoux case, is the real criminal.
“Roland should be serving consecutive first-degree murder sentences,” Krowski told The Times last month. “He is the face of evil, the devil incarnate. Strutting around, this hasn’t bothered him in the least.”