Prison For Starving Girl, Parents Guilty

By: Tina Volpe - January 30, 2014

In a sea of shocking abuse stories recently hitting the headlines, a young teenage girl that was nearly starved to death by her own stepmother and father has to be one of the most devastating.

A Wisconsin father was convicted of abuse for starving his teenage daughter down to 68 pounds and was sentenced to a five years in prison. The father reportedly stood by quietly and allowed the stepmother to abuse, beat, and withhold food from the girl.

Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese heard a statement from the 42-year-old man prior to sentencing, insisting his daughter suffered from severe emotional and behavioral problems that he couldn’t handle, that his job as a trucker kept him away from home, and that he didn’t notice how thin she had become.

“There was no master plan against my daughter,” the man said, his voice breaking at times. “I was bailing water from a sinking boat with my bare hands.”

The 15 year old girl might have remained in that basement they allegedly kept her locked in, had she not run away and been picked up by a passing motorist in February of 2012.

The girl told investigators she had spent most of the previous five years confined to the home’s basement and was denied food.

Judge Genovese acknowledged that the girl obviously had problems and that everyone who encountered her had failed her. But, she told the father, “It’s your turn to accept your part in this.”

“What I think you did was put your head in the sand. It’s your job as a dad to see it and you didn’t. Really, the buck stops with you,” the judge said.

The girl also told investigators that her stepmother beat her, her stepbrother repeatedly forced her to perform oral sex on him, and she was forced to eat her feces and drink her own urine.

“They made me feel like I was dehumanized a lot,” the girl said in a letter to Genovese. “It’s all thanks to my stupid dad and stepmom for not giving me an education and keeping me locked up for most of my life and making me feel like I was in a scary spot in my life.”

The Associated Press generally doesn’t name potential sexual assault victims and isn’t naming anyone in the family to avoid identifying the girl.

The stepmother is spending five years in prison thanks to Judge Genovese, who convicted her on the charges of reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child. The stepbrother is also scheduled to stand trial on sexual assault charges in February.

The father has been through two trials. The jurors in a March, 2013 trial deadlocked on some charges, leading to a second trial which came in November. His charges were child neglect, child abuse, reckless endangerment, and causing mental harm to a child – all felonies.

The man’s attorney, Jessa Nicholson, commented that he deserved probation. He has already lost his family and his job, his wife is in prison, and his reputation has been destroyed, she said.

“Apparently we are still a society that favors punishment,” she told reporters after the hearing.

Image via YouTube

Tina Volpe

About the Author

Tina VolpeTina Volpe is an author, freelance writer and a college student. She loves spending time with her rescued feathered and furry friends... cooking Italian food, reading, writing, hiking and dreams of a huge animal sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+

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  • http://facebook Dave

    I hope they feed him exactly what he fed his child while he's in jail. What a dirtbag.

    • patrick

      o he'll get plenty to eat

  • http://facebook SisterWendy

    Lawyer states, "Apparently we are still a society that favors punishment,” ??? Say what? Yes, thank goodness we are. Lawyer sounds as redneck as the dad.

    • Linda Mitts

      What they did is horrible and they need to suffer the same fate for the same length of time as this poor child. Please do not come down on all "rednecks', the term comes from the red sunburned necks of farmers who were considered inferior to the people who did not toil outside for a living.

      • merlendechien

        Same length of time? Just kill them all. That is what they were doing to her. Killing her slowly. Kill all those that knew and did nothing, while they are at it.

    • Bud

      That's not redneck, that's liberal Dumocrat

  • Richard Mentz

    If the "Father" and "Stepmother" Favored cruel and unusual punishment for their child why shouldn't we exact the same punishment on them. Five years was a gift. Hopefully they catch a beating every day. I'll put $20 on the commissary account for anyone who does.

    • jake bigjake

      Don't worry about putting 20 dollars on anyones account. Im pretty certain that inmates are gonna be looking for these 3. Now they will face the same terror they afflicted upon this girl. I can guarantee that.

  • Becca

    I say you sew the womans who-Ha shut and cut of dads wanker, cause he is NOT a man. I could never let ANYONE hurt my kids! I would not be able to live with myself if I did. Feed them exactly what that poor child had to eat. Then beat them senseless everyday, see how they like it, and for his scumbag lawyer, do the same to her! Then see if she spouts of such stupid comments again!!

    • @Becca

      I would love to dig in your closet Becca and find out what skeletons I can find. I have often found that when people say the things you do, they have deep issues in their own lives. I have found people to be such hypocrites and few people have ever been in a courtroom to see how it works.

      Courtrooms in America do not work like on TV. People are forced to plead guilty all the time.

      • mike

        Whoever you are, worry about your own closet, not what's in somebody else's. Twit.

    • mike

      Settle down Becca. That kind of grotesque violence is not the makes you no better than him, her or their mentally incompetent lawyer. Did you ever see 'I spit on your grave'? That'd do it.

  • Jessi

    To play the devils advocate.. say this girl has some severe mental issues and is actually a sociopath. Can anyone confirm that she has gotten a psych evaluation? Seems odd that everyone she came across did her harm.. her father takes her in with the intention of locking her in the basement and starving her?..

    I'm sure the conviction came down to a lock actually being on the basement door and possibly with good reason. Maybe the girl did threaten to kill them all in their sleep.

    • TMF

      Jessi are you for real? So you're saying it's alright to cause bodily harm and starvation on a child who has mental issues? I don't think anyone is playing the devils advocate, we are stating what is true. I have a daughter who has depression at some points in her teen years was scary to be around. NEVER in my life would I have thought to lock her in a basement for five years while starving her and letting some loser pervert sexually assault her. And if your child threatens to kill you, you call the police and they will handle it from there. I mean are you serious, for real??

    • TJ

      Oh my goodness. I always told my kids, "2 wrongs don't make a right". Come on, what ever her issues are/were (if any) does not justify what this 'family' did to her.

    • http://yahoo Christine

      Jessi, take your head out of your bum! Playing the devil's advocate? You are an idiot! She was beaten and starved to 68 pounds. Even if she had threatened to kill them, did that justify the beatings and the starvation? No, I don't believe the father had the intentions of starving her and beating her, but that is what ended up happening. If the girl needed a psych eval, or even hospitalization, get her the help. There is NO justification for the beating and the starvation. It seems as if you are BLAMING the girl because she may have "threatened to kill them all in their sleep." Like I said, you are an idiot who should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Delilah

      If the girl were a sociopath you have her committed…you do not lock her in a basement and feed her shit. You are a moron!

  • TMF

    Really, five years??!!! You can get that for neglecting an animal! These monsters stole life from this innocent child and all they get is a vacation with a solid three meals a day. Blasphemy! I am so sick and tired of hearing how malicious parents get away with such heinous crimes…I hope they get the crap beat out of them day in and day out while locked up, hopefully even shanked!

    • TMF

      My mistake they could serve between 10 and 12 years. Still not enough in my book.

  • Dave

    They have already let the father off too easy, however, the wicked ass stepmother who beat the poor girl should get life, and someone should spread the word of what she did to the prison population so she could receive her just rewards from her fellow inmates who would love the chance to be free with their children. She would receive merciless beatings, she deserves

  • jtaber

    I hope both of these worthless pieces of sh-t die the most horrible death ever. They don't deserve to live. Hopefully when they get to prison there will be a welcome committee that isn't really welcoming.

  • Delilah

    You bet we are a society that favors punishment! I say kill him…I don't want to support a dirtbag who doesn't take care of his child.

  • MEME

    Uh, yeah – I wonder why this poor child had previous behavior issues. Bless you, doll, and I hope life for you hereon out is grand. You deserve it.

  • Vinnieg

    Hey Tina, your a writer??? PRISON FOR STARVING GIRL?????????

    What the hell is that?

    To move forward, 5 years? that is it?

    Too kind, way too kind. Sick bastards. They should be HUNG

  • Aprilyn

    That father deserves to be in prison for life!

  • Suzzi

    Why the hell did the step mother only get 5 years???? She should have gotten the max of 15!!!

  • Deborah Witcher

    Did the fathers attorney think her client deserved leniency? Seriously. Her statement "Apparently we are still a society that favors punishment". Yes and in my opinion 5 years is not close to enough. It is easy for people to have children. Then once they have children they don't want to do what is their duty to do. This story just makes me sick. Our society needs to give harsher punishments for such an atrocity.

    • mike

      She's a lawyer, Deborah. A lack of conscious is required before they admit you into law school. Besides, if I were as point blank guilty as these people are, It would almost be comforting that my lawyer was too f'n stupid to know when to shut up. Still, Its amazing that someone that dumb has a law degree. I wonder if my gerbil could get one.

  • Pam S

    The sentence is not nearly long enough.

    • mike

      Sentences like that last a lot longer than prison time, Pam S. Just wait until he or she tries to get a job or a place to live after prison. That's when what they did will really come around on them.

  • Starry

    "A society that still favors punishment" Yeah lock your daughter in a basement subject her to physical, sexual and emotional abuse and most people want you to pay. 5 years. If you think you didn't get leniency your stupid. Not harsh enough.

  • mike

    I'm sorry to say I know the guy. Used to work with him a long time ago. I'm not sorry he's going to jail though, because he was always such an asshole. Hope he gets raped. A few times.

  • Lady

    They each got 5 years…not enough!

  • Tom

    I hope he chokes to death on a huge black guys man meat!

  • Brett Toney

    It reminds me of "A Child Called It" about David Peltzer. He was starved. His mother made him swallow spoonfuls of bleach and ammonia. That was in the 70's when abuse was still a hushed-up family secret. I feel sorry for all that suffer abuse.

  • George

    if she was going to kill them? then why did she just run away without doing them any harm!!

  • Hyatt

    Becca– "I have often found that when people say the things you do, they have deep issues in their own lives. I have found people to be such hypocrites and few people have ever been in a courtroom to see how it works."

    **I have often found people like you to be idiots!**

    • star

      yur a dumb ass hyatt hope u get butt fukd too

  • nana

    I am a grandmother & great-grandmother, I would have taken her in a New York minute.

  • http://yahoo dore pierre

    oh he will get his anybody dat dose dat 2 a child should be abused there selve it is sooo sad how ppl really treat there flash and blood

  • nana

    The lawyer needs to be disbarred