Wisconsin man sentenced for starving, imprisoning daughter

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 29, 2014 6:56 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Wisconsin man was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison for imprisoning his teenage daughter in a basement for six years and forcing her to eat her own excrement, a local prosecutor said.

Chad Chritton, 42, was also sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court to an additional five years of extended supervision after a jury found him guilty in November of four felonies, including child abuse and neglecting a child, according to district attorney Ismael Ozanne.

His wife Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 44, was sentenced to five years in prison in July on similar charges.

Prosecutors had accused the Madison couple of holding the girl in the basement of their home for about six years. The couple told investigators they home-schooled her and said they needed to lock her in the basement because she was a threat to her family due to mental health issues.

The girl told investigators she was rarely allowed to eat and, if given food, was forced to eat off the floor. She also told detectives the couple forced her to use boxes or bags as a toilet and to bathe in a utility sink in the basement.

Chritton and Drabek-Chritton, the girl's father and stepmother, were also accused of physically abusing the girl and forcing her to do chores naked so she could not hide food in her clothing.

The criminal complaint also accused them of forcing the girl to drink her own urine and eat her own feces on several occasions.

The girl's stepbrother, Joshua Drabek, 20, is accused of sexually assaulting her and will go on trial in February. Prosecutors have accused Drabek of trying to have sexual intercourse and oral sex with the girl on several occasions.

Charges were filed in 2012 against the couple and Drabek after a passerby found the pajama-clad girl walking barefoot in her neighborhood and appearing "extremely malnourished."

(Reporting By Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)