Pre-trial hearing for mother accused of performing, concealing abortion continued
MADISON, Neb. -- A pre-trial hearing for a northeast Nebraska woman accused of helping illegally terminate her daughter's pregnancy and concealing the fetus has been pushed back until October.
A hearing for 41-year-old Jessica Burgess was scheduled for Friday morning, but it was continued until October 6th to give time for additional motions to be filed.
According to court records, Jessica Burgess and her now 18-year-old daughter, Celeste Burgess, reportedly discussed terminating Celeste's pregnancy via Facebook messages, which were later acquired by law enforcement.
Court records also allege that the fetus was over the 20-week limit for an abortion in Nebraska.
Another person, a then-21-year-old man, pleaded no contest to helping bury the fetus north of Norfolk and was sentenced to probation.
Jessica Burgess's trial is now scheduled for October 6th, pre-trial for November 4th, and a jury trial slated for December.
A hearing for Celeste Burgess had been scheduled on Monday, but it was continued to September 26th.
Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith told the Lincoln Journal Star last month that he’s never filed charges like this related to performing an abortion illegally in his 32 years as the county prosecutor.
The group National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which supports abortion rights, found 1,331 arrests or detentions of women for crimes related to their pregnancy from 2006 to 2020.