Parents Charged With Child Abuse After 3 Sisters Were Rescued From Their Home

Have we had it with stories of girls being locked up and held as slaves while being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused? It seems like ever since Ariel Castro made the news, these cases keep popping up.

Here’s another one: Three sisters in Tucson say that they have been held captive in their home for the past two years. The girls, ages 12, 13, and 17, were filthy and malnourished. They say they haven’t been able to bathe in months and were only fed one meal a day.


The two younger girls were able to escape Tuesday and run to a neighbor’s for help. They claim they were afraid for their safety because their stepfather knocked their door down and threatened them with a knife. The neighbor, who described the girls as “hysterical and visibly shaking,” called 911.

When the police arrived at the home, they discovered a third sister, the 17-year-old, locked up by herself in another room, and get this -- they say that they haven’t seen each other in two years. How sick is that?

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The girls’ mother, 32-year-old Sophia Richter, and stepfather, 34-year-old Fernando Richter, were booked into Pima County Jail on three charges each of kidnapping, child abuse/emotional abuse, and child abuse/physical abuse. And just because this isn’t twisted enough, Fernando was also charged with one count of sexual abuse of a person under the age of 15.

That this kind of thing happens is sick, but to be held captive and abused at the hands of your parents -- the very people who are supposed to love and protect you unconditionally? That’s a special kind of eff’d up.

The girls have been placed in protective custody, and police Captain Michael Gillooly said at a news conference, “We are doing all we can to make sure these kids are kept safe.”

What do you think causes child abuse of this magnitude?


Image via Bee Collins/Flickr

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