Dad Who Locked Daughter in Basement for 6 Years Has Despicable Defense

Chad ChrittonA Wisconsin dad accused of keeping his daughter locked in the family basement for six years is headed to prison. The lawyer for Chad Chritton tried to convince a jury that his client was just too dumb for child abuse that ranks this high on the horror scale. The good news? The lawyer failed.

After two days, the jury came back. Chad Chritton is guilty of unspeakable horrors against his little girl. So much for hoping the jury would be dumb enough to buy his "I'm not smart enough to do something so awful and keep it from the neighbors" defense.


Chritton's lawyer had the audacity to tell the jury that the now 16-year-old girl who was tortured for six years, starting when she was 9, couldn't have possibly been kept locked away all that time because his client wasn't "tricky" or "wily."

Odd wording, isn't it? When I think of child abuse of this magnitude, tricky isn't what comes to mind.

Monster is.

You don't have to be smart to be a child abuser, folks. Heck, if you are smart, you hopefully have the brains to realize that hurting a child is wrong.

You can be dumber than a box of rocks and pull of unspeakable acts of child abuse if you're sick enough.

It turns out Chad Chritton was sick enough. And it wasn't just him.

His wife, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, is already serving a five-year sentence for abusing her stepdaughter. Her son, 20-year-old Joshua Drabek, faces a trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing the girl during her years of imprisonment, including allegations that he would force his stepsister to perform oral sex on him. 

As prosecutors convinced the jury, from the time she was 9, Chad Chritton would keep his now 16-year-old daughter locked in the basement, denying her food even when she begged for something to eat. The windows of the basement were even boarded to prevent the child from sneaking through them to raid the neighbors' trash for food. By the time she escaped at 15 and was discovered wandering barefoot in her pajamas on a cold night in February 2012, the girl weighed just 68 pounds.

That has nothing to do with intelligence. It has to do with cruelty.

What do you think of Chritton's defense? What do you think the punishment should be now that he's been convicted?


Image via Dane County Sheriff's Office

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