A former respite worker with Manitoba's Child and Family Services is appealing the prison term handed to her for letting a man have paid sex with a severely mentally challenged woman in her care.

Carol Iverson, who used to go by the name Carol Siemens, is in the process of being transported back to Winnipeg from the Edmonton women's prison where she's been since February.

Iverson, 54, has an appeal hearing scheduled for Thursday morning in front of Manitoba's highest court.

She was handed a three-year prison term in February for being a party to two sexual assaults on the 21-year-old victim. The woman, whom a court order prohibits identifying, wound up pregnant and had a mentally challenged baby as a result of the bizarre incident.

In a sworn statement, Iverson is appealing on the grounds the "sentence imposed was unduly harsh and severe given the circumstances of the offence" and failed to take into proper account her personal circumstances.

The "conviction was against the law, the evidence and the weight of the evidence," Iverson says.

Prior to being sentenced, she was seeking a conditional order where she would have avoided jail time.

Case dragged on for years

Court documents show that in 2001, Iverson was working as a respite worker for Child and Family Services and was caring for the victim. They were twice picked up in Winnipeg by a former lover of Iverson — a man named Kenneth Allan — and driven out to Allan's trailer park just north of Winnipeg.

Both times, Iverson initiated sexual activity between Allan and the victim, court documents say.

Iverson was paid a total of $80 for both visits. Allan testified he felt the money was partly for cleaning services provided by Iverson and partly for the victim.

Police became involved after the victim's mother learned her daughter was pregnant. Investigators initially focused in on a family friend, but he was later cleared by DNA evidence.

In May 2003, police were tipped off about Allan's involvement and matched his DNA to the child's.

Iverson was questioned, but according to court documents "concealed" the fact Allan might be the father from police.

"She did, however, discuss the matter with Mr. Allan on a number of occasions and on one occasion attempted to extort $800 from him in exchange for her silence," Judge Ken Hanssen wrote in sentencing Iverson.

Allan was convicted of sexual assault in 2006 and handed a conditional sentence in exchange for his testimony against Iverson.