"...Claiborne also was charged for child neglect related to the 2½-year-old child found in a darkened room, restrained in a car seat, unable to move..."
Authorities found an emaciated 38-year-old woman, half-naked and shivering on a urine-soaked blanket, chained to a weight bench, covered in feces and unable to communicate or use her legs, according to charges filed Monday against her mother and brother.
The mentally disabled woman, who reportedly has the mind of a 5-year-old but had once lived normally, weighed 60 to 70 pounds when she was found Saturday in a home in the 1300 block of 69th Street in Kenosha. She remained hospitalized Monday, a prosecutor said.
When rescuers cut the chain around her left ankle, authorities said the woman could not straighten her legs or walk.
A 13-year-old boy familiar with the family and in the house when police arrived said the woman had been chained up for “as long as he had known (the family),” according to the criminal complaint. Over the three years he had known Sally M. Adams and Ernest Claiborne, the boy said the woman was unchained “once in a while” to clean up.
Adams, 56, and her son, Claiborne, 34, were charged Monday for false imprisonment, second-degree reckless endangerment and intentionally subjecting an at-risk person to abuse. If convicted, they each face more than 15 years in prison.
Claiborne also was charged for child neglect, a misdemeanor that could add another nine months to his sentence, if convicted.
That charge was related to the 2½-year-old child found in a darkened room, restrained in a car seat, unable to move, in Claiborne’s home. The child’s diaper had not been changed in several days and there was no food in the house for the youngster, a criminal complaint says.
Boy’s father called
Police were called to Claiborne’s home about 4:50 p.m. Jan. 2 to check the toddler’s welfare; the child was taken to a hospital, but no injuries were listed in the criminal complaint.
The child’s father, Sanford Davis, called authorities because, Davis said, Adams, the baby’s grandmother, had not allowed him to see the boy since September.
Each time Davis went to the house, he said it smelled like “skunk;” a police officer said the home smelled so strongly of feces and urine that he nearly vomited.
A few months ago, the man told police, Davis heard a 13-year-old boy laughing with friends about how “nasty” the house was and that Claiborne had his sister “chained up,” according to the criminal complaint.
Davis thought the teenager was “joking.” From 1999 to 2006, when Adams and her daughter lived in Chicago, Davis said the woman “walked normally” and asked to use the bathroom.
Davis also remembered locks on the doors so the woman could not get out during the night.
Chained ‘for her safety’
Keeping the woman safely inside was the reason she was chained to a weight bench in the dining room, Claiborne and Adams said.
The woman often escaped from the house and got lost, Claiborne explained.
“(She) gets a chain and lock put around her ankle so she does not get out of the house,” Claiborne reportedly told authorities. “... If we are going to sleep, she will get the chain put on her ankle so that she doesn’t get out of the house.”
Claiborne said he planned to take a nap around 4 p.m. Jan. 2. Adams was at the store.
Claiborne denied putting the chain on his sister that day, but said he saw she was chained. He said he had not taken his sister to the bathroom or fed her that day, despite knowing where to find the key to unchain her.
Claiborne also said he made sure the toddler was strapped into the car seat, so the child could not walk around while Claiborne napped, according to the criminal complaint.
Adams, who said she did not live at the home, denied chaining her daughter to the weight bench. And, she said, she didn’t know who had.
However, Adams said, she was aware her daughter was chained and that she was restrained because her daughter had mental problems, had the intelligence of a 5-year-old, needed 24-hour care and would “run off,” the complaint says. Adams also said she gave her daughter over-the-counter sleeping pills so she would not leave the house.
Adams reportedly told police that her daughter could speak, feed herself and use the bathroom “when she remembers.”
When authorities found the woman, she had marks on her ankle from being bound. She also had 10 to 15 marks on her back. She could not stand or walk, and her legs remained contracted.
Bond at $10,000
Adams and Claiborne must each post $10,000 cash in order to get out of jail.
A defense attorney asked for a lesser bond for Claiborne, who has received Social Security for the last 17 years because of mental health issues. Adams, who works at Prime Outlets, has been his payee.
Adams, who has another daughter in the Kenosha area, has lived here about six years.
Click to view image: '713c5b4a8f6f-al_gore.jpg'nor her son
Click to view image: '39a536be0919-al_gore_1.jpg'had any criminal record.
It was unclear who had responsibility for Adams’ daughter. And there were no court records about the toddler’s mother, although a prosecutor said the child did not belong to the 38-year-old woman.
A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 12.
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