A Wisconsin father, Chad Chritten this Friday past was found guilty of second-degree reckless endangerment, child abuse and causing mental harm to a child after he went on to lock his then 8 year old daughter in the family basement for 6 years.
Arrested along with the father, was the child’s step mother and step brother. The arrests came shortly after the child managed to escape and notify authorities in February of 2012.
At the time of her escape, the girl went on to tell how she was locked in the family basement whilst denied food despite pleading to be fed.
Authorities went on to tell the girl, now 16 only weighed 68 pounds when they discovered her by the side of a street in her soiled pajamas.
Her stepmother Melinda Drabek-Chritten, the girl went on to tell often beat her and even threatened to throw her down a flight of stairs.
Stepbrother Joshua Chritten, now 20, repeatedly forced her to perform oral sex on him, told officials.
The girl’s family first tried to explain her departure from the community by telling that she had suffered from bulimia.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Moeser went on to tell during the trial that the girl was forced to forage for scraps of food from the kitchen floor and trash.
The child was forced to go to the bathroom on her own bed because of an alarm that alerted her tormenters if she tried to leave the basement.
In his defense, Chad Chritten went on to tell the court that he put the child in the basement after a psychologist said she should live on a different level of the home than the rest of the family.
He boarded up the windows so she wouldn’t climb out and raid the neighbors’ trash, he told.
Chritten denied ever locking her in or withholding food.
Instead the man told how the girl refused to eat the meals he made for her and chose to dine on crumbs and garbage.
He told that the girl’s meager weight was a consequence of her being anorexic.
Inevitably the father went on to call the girl’s suffering ‘a mistake.’
Supposing that Mr Chritten’s intent was to ‘dehumanize and degrade’ his daughter, the defense told Chritten would have the girl ‘blame herself for what he was doing to her.’
Went on to say Moeser: ‘This was so far from reasonable parenting, and to call what was done to (the girl) a mistake is an insult to the English language,’
‘This is so far from a mistake.’
Moeser went on to argue the girl suffered from mental illness.
‘It’s about a person who thought he could commit these crimes against his daughter and get away with it; this cloak of mental illness, this cloak of health problems,’ told Mr Moeser, according to Channel 3000.
The stepmother has already been sentenced to five years in prison for her role in the scheme, the stepbrother will stand trial in February.
In the man’s defense, attorney Jessa Nicholson told her client wasn’t smart enough to hatch such a plan, and that neighbors suspected nothing. An argument that the jury didn’t accept.
Friday’s verdicts ended the second trial Chritton has had on the case, the first ending with several deadlocked charges in March.
The father now faces the prospect of 34 years behind bars.