An Illinois couple with nine children are accused of locking their adult daughter, who has severe cognitive disabilities, in a filthy bedroom for two years.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Charles Hopkins III and his longtime girlfriend, Marinda Y. Hicks, 38, are facing multiple neglect-related charges, including endangerment of a child, criminal neglect of a person with a disability and abuse or neglect of a physically disabled person by a caregiver. Prosecutors said the pair used a locking gate to keep their 18-year-old daughter in the bedroom since 2015.
The bedroom was located in the Blue Island home she shared with the other children. Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Pressling claimed the victim had the mental capacity of a child and couldn’t care for or clean herself, according to the Tribune.
The couple is accused of not allowing the woman to leave the room and feeding her through the bars of a gate. The daughter reportedly used a portable toilet that was cleaned every four to five days and she slept on a mattress covered in human waste and menstrual blood.
Authorities said the woman’s parents and one other person had a key to the gate. In May, Hopkins allegedly changed the lock and took the sole key to work, meaning that nobody could unlock the gate when he wasn’t home.
The pair made an initial appearance Saturday in Cook County court, according to the Associated Press.
A judge banned Hopkins and Hicks from contacting their minor children unless it’s in accordance with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The judge also allowed for the couple’s release but placed them under electronic monitoring.
It’s currently unclear how authorities became involved. During the hearing, Hopkins’ attorney claimed that there’s “a lot more to the story” than what prosecutors offered.
[Featured Image: Cook County Sheriff’s Office]