FOX 66 News at Ten
Wis. — A Wisconsin father convicted of abuse for starving his teenage
daughter down to 68 pounds was sentenced Wednesday to five years in
Before being sentenced by Dane County Circuit Judge Julie
Genovese, the 42-year-old man read a statement 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.”
came to light in February 2012 when the girl, then 15, ran away from her
family’s Madison home and was picked up by a passing motorist. The girl
told investigators she had spent most of the previous five years
confined to the home’s basement and was denied food.
said it was clear the girl had problems and that everyone who
encountered her 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.
Genovese sentenced the
stepmother to five years in prison this summer after the woman pleaded
no contest to reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child.
The stepbrother is set to stand trial on sexual assault charges next
The father went through two trials. Jurors in March
deadlocked on some charges, leading to a second proceeding in November.
In all, he was convicted of child neglect, child abuse, reckless
endangerment and causing mental harm to a child, all felonies. He was
acquitted of false imprisonment and misdemeanor neglect.
his November trial, the man testified he believed the girl’s stepfather
sexually assaulted her in Texas. After the father brought the girl to
live with him in Wisconsin, she refused to eat and threatened to kill
the family in their sleep, he said.
A psychologist suggested the
girl live on a different level than the rest of the family, he
testified, but he denied locking her in the basement. Social workers
made several visits to the home, but he couldn’t follow up on her care
because he was always on the road. He said social workers should have
removed her from the home.
The man had faced up to 28 years in
prison going into Wednesday’s sentencing. District Attorney Ismael
Ozanne asked Genovese to give the man 10 years behind bars, saying he
and his wife kept the girl isolated because they didn’t want her to tell
anyone she was being abused.
“The course of conduct would have
ended in (the girl’s) death but for her courage to run away,” Ozanne
said. Asked after the sentencing if he agreed with five years, he simply
said he respected Genovese’s decision.
The man’s attorney, Jessa
Nicholson, countered he deserved probation. He already has 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.
Genovese said the man deserved the same sentence as his wife. Together they stole five years of the girl’s life, the judge said.
2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, January 31 2014, 10:24 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Judge approves place for former US Rep. Mel Reynolds to stay while out on bond|
|A federal judge has approved a long-term residence for former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds to stay while free on bond on tax charges.|
|Verizon strike possible as contract deadline looms|
|Verizon workers in nine states could walk off the job as soon as early Sunday if union negotiators don't reach an agreement over benefits with the wireless carrier.|
|Brothers charged with 5 counts of murder in stabbing deaths|
|First-degree murder charges were formally filed Friday against two Oklahoma brothers accused in the stabbing deaths of their parents and three siblings.|
|Newborn girl found alive in dumpster in Kentucky, witness credited with saving child's life|
|Authorities in western Kentucky say a newborn baby girl has been found alive in a dumpster and a teenager has been charged with attempted murder.|
|'Greta Investigates Lone Wolves – Enemies Among Us,' highlights Brandon Tevlin murder case|
|Allison Tevlin, the mother of murdered 19-year-old New Jersey student Brendan Tevlin, told Fox News’ “Greta Investigates” team Friday that the additional charge of terrorism brought against her son’s accused murderer, Ali Mohammad Brown, “is a good thing.”|
|Start Before You're Ready: Advice From 4 Established Entrepreneurs|
|A post last year resonated with entrepreneurs around the world. Here are some of their comments.|
|Man who died in police fight was wanted for beating 97-year-old, who later died of injuries|
|Authorities say a man who died after a fight with San Francisco police was wanted for the beating of a 97-year-old who employed him as a caretaker and later died from the attack.|
|Tony Bennett, wife honored by George Washington University for their commitment to the arts|
|George Washington University is honoring singer Tony Bennett and his wife with the university president's medal for their commitment to the arts.|
|Mother pleads not guilty in birthday cake beating of 9-year-old boy, requests trial by jury|
|The mother of a 9-year-old boy who was fatally beaten over what police say was a piece of missing birthday cake has pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse charges.|
|Youth advocates say unlikely that teen charged in death of girl fully knew what he was doing|
|Youth advocacy groups say a 15-year-old boy charged with raping and killing an 8-year-old neighbor in the California city of Santa Cruz is too young to understand what he is accused of doing.|