'Mother of the Year' plots rape revenge against family who bought her dream house

Feb 12, 2015 at 1:34 p.m. ET

In 2011, a couple with young kids outbid 53-year-old Kathy J. Rowe for their dream home in San Diego. What happens next is a total nightmare you would only expect to see in some cheesy Hollywood psychological thriller.

Turns out Rowe took losing the house to Jerry Rice, 40, and Janice Ruhter, 37, and their young son and daughter harder than anyone could have possibly imagined, and in retaliation launched a yearlong terror campaign against them.

In a twist of irony, Rowe was voted in 2006 as San Diego's "Mother of the Year."

She reportedly had more than $1,000 in magazine subscriptions delivered to the house. She also tried to break up the couple's marriage by sending Valentine's Day cards doctored up to look as if Rice had been sending them to other women. But that was child's play compared to what came next.

Rowe upped the ante by posting online ads for fake sex parties at the house, posing as Ruhter and saying it was her fantasy to have men break into the home and rape her. Yes, you read that right. This woman tried to have a woman raped in her own home because she was mad about getting outbid for a house.

According to the Daily Mail, after Rowe received one response to her fake rape ad, she sent this message back: "I love to be surprised and have a man just show up at my door and force his way in the door and on me, totally taking me while I say no."

One man actually showed up at the home, presumably to rape Ruhter, but was stopped from entering by a locked gate, and another time Mr. Rice was luckily at home.

The family finally had enough and called police, who discovered Rowe was behind it all.

So they locked her up and threw away the key, right? Not so much.

Rowe was sentenced to five years of probation and will wear an electronic surveillance device for a year after pleading down from the charge of felony rape solicitation to felony stalking. She caught a big break there. The rape conviction would have required her to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

So why did Rowe set out to destroy this young family's life? She really, really had her heart set on this house, which she said she lost out on buying to the couple due to a simple miscommunication with her real estate agent.

"The anger and grief over losing that house drove me to behave in a very childish way and to do what I thought were childish pranks to let off steam and ease the pain," Rowe told a court in January, according to the Daily Mail. "I never intended for them to be hurtful."

Yeah, except plotting to break up a family and trying to get a woman brutally raped is pretty hurtful. Sounds like the batty dame got off pretty easily considering the amount of damage she inflicted on these people.

The couple says their lives have been completely upended. Rice understandably became obsessed with security and surveillance to try to protect his family. They're slowly putting the pieces of their lives back together by attending therapy and taking self-defense classes twice a week.

"It was a huge stress in our life for so long. We are trying to heal the best way we can."

Here's more on the incredible story.


More on real estate

Top 10 most expensive homes on the real estate market
Rotating Hollywood real estate: Khloé buys Bieber's house
Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady: Real estate moguls