A 9-year-old girl was forced to eat off the floor, strapped to a bunk bed with a belt, and other abuses, according to Pennsylvania authorities, who have charged her grandmother, father and stepmother with “extreme neglect” and abuse.
Following a four month investigation, Plymouth police said in a statement on April 11 that they had charged Michael Law, his wife Cydney Magana and his mother, Joann Ortman.
Law’s daughter was forced to wear urine soaked clothing, according to a police statement, and prevented from showering for long periods of time at their home in Plymouth.
Her grandmother, Ortman, is accused of hitting her in the head with a coffee mug, causing a “severe laceration.”
The girl’s two siblings also suffered abuse, according to court documents cited by local media outlets, over a period of about two years.
All three are charged with endangering the welfare of children.
The stepmother and grandmother face additional charges.
Magana is charged with false imprisonment of a minor.
Ortman is additionally charged with conspiracy engaging and simple assault.
According to WVTR, police visited their previous family home in Duryea in 2016 and found it filthy. The children were taken by authorities, who returned them when they found no evidence of abuse.
Court documents show that two of the children were also abused in that home, where they were tied to a playpen with zip ties.
The girl was taken away from the house on Gould Street into protective custody several months before the investigation began, according to police.
“Once we found out there was something going on … Children and Youth did remove the children from the house, so during the investigation, no child was in harm’s way,” said Plymouth Police Sgt. Michael Thomas, according to WNEP.
“They are very horrendous acts. I mean, no child should go through that. Nobody should go through that, so we’re doing the best we can to do a very thorough investigation to make sure justice is done for the children,” said Sgt. Thomas.
EDIT: Due to several concerns expressed by individuals regarding the length of the investigation I would like to clarify…
Neighbors told 21News that they witnessed the impact on the children and took pity on them.
“Seeing the way the kids would come outside and it was disgusting,” neighbor Tammie Reap told 21 News. “The oldest child would be coming and going to school with pee clothes on.”
“I fed them. because they would come over when they were swimming and say they were hungry,” added Crystal Doyle, another neighbor. “I gave them some snacks and made them lunch a few times, gave them some drinks.”
According to court documents cited by Citizen’s Voice, the girl was forced to eat food out of a soiled diaper, and thrown into walls by Ortmann who also allegedly hit her with a small baseball bat.
During questioning, Law and Magana both said they were aware Ortmann had been abusing the girl and that they were aware of the coffee cup attack.
Law told police Ortmann told his daughter she was ugly like her biological mother, according to the documents.
Both parents were aware of the abuse by Ortman, but did nothing to stop it. Law claimed Ortmann threatened to stop paying the rent and to not let him use the car if he disclosed the abuses, according to the charges.