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When the malnourished 15-year-old awoke each morning, she could hear her family eating and getting ready for the day. If she felt especially brave or desperate she would call to her stepmother and beg for food, but usually she just went back to bed and hoped her hunger pangs went away.
The girl was 70 pounds when she was rescued. She told investigators during lengthy interviews at the hospital that most of the food she ate was scraps she found on the floor or in the garbage. She had spent most of five years in the basement of her family's Madison home, where she was beaten and sexually assaulted.
The girl's statements, contained in court documents, paint a troubling picture of physical, mental and sexual abuse. The girl describes running away, only to be found, brought home and threatened. Confined to the basement, she had no one to ask for help. She wasn't allowed to go to school or church, have visitors or talk on the phone.
Dane County officials say the girl is getting help now. She gained 17 pounds after about a week under doctors' care, a criminal complaint said
Her father and stepmother have been charged with child abuse, child neglect and reckless endangerment. The charges carry a maximum combined prison sentence of 11 years, 3 months. The girl's 18-year-old stepbrother is charged with child abuse and child sexual assault and faces 68 years behind bars if convicted.
The girl told investigators the abuse started the month she turned 10. Her stepmother beat her, and her stepbrother repeatedly forced her to perform oral sex on him. That's also when the family began keeping her in the basement.
Because it had no bathroom, she said she often bathed in a basement sink that had no hot water and relieved herself in boxes or containers. If she made a mess while doing so, "they will make me eat it. Or drink it or rub it on my face," she said.
She said she was forced to do chores naked and had to call upstairs for permission to eat. She was often told her stepmother was too busy to feed her.
"I know it's a lie," the teen told police. "She's playing with my brother upstairs. I can hear her upstairs watching TV."
She wasted away to 70 pounds. In contrast, police records say her father weighs 240 pounds and her stepmother 370 pounds.
More at the link
this almost sounds like too much to believe. i would wish it was a lie and not the truth