BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin couple is accused of locking their 13-year-old daughter in a cold basement with no toilet or sink, forcing her to wear diapers and refusing to allow her to sit on furniture in the family home, according to criminal charges filed this week.
The 41-year-old woman and 47-year-old man – the girl’s mother and stepfather – are each charged with one count of child neglect. Court records say the girl continually showed up at school with dried feces on her, and that the stepfather said he was disgusted with the girl and called her “Stink.”
He also refused to let her use the family bathroom or furniture, the complaint said.
According to the complaint, school personnel told authorities the child has low-level autism and some cognitive disabilities. The girl came to school in December with soiled pants, dried stool in her hair, and stool coming out of the sleeves, bottom and neck of her shirt. The school contacted the girl’s mother, but the girl repeatedly came to school with dried stool in a diaper or sometimes on her clothing.
The complaint said the girl “goes to school covered in feces, for which she gets made fun of.”
WITI-TV reports the girl has been removed from the home in Brookfield, just west of Milwaukee.
There was no answer Friday when an Associated Press reporter went to the home seeking comment.
A next-door neighbor, 25-year-old Joe Gnatzig, said that when he was outside he could hear the man yelling.
“I didn’t even know she was there,” he said of the 13-year-old girl. “I never even saw her get off the bus.”
The girl told school personnel that when she arrived home after an after-school program, she was taken to an unfinished room in the basement and changed into a onesie with a zipper in the back. The girl told school officials that she was locked in the basement until the next day and sometimes has dinner there, the complaint said.
The girl said her room has a cot, but no toilet or sink, and her blankets were taken away because she soiled them. The complaint says the basement was about 50 degrees.
The girl’s half-sister told police that the girl is not allowed to sit on furniture in the house but stands on a carpet by the door when she is upstairs.
Police learned of the case through an anonymous tip.