A father is going to prison for five years for starving his daughter and keeping her locked in a basement. The teenage girl, who suffered from severe emotional and behavioral problems, was kept in a basement for six years and at times made to eat her own feces. The prison-bound Wisconsin father, Chad Chritton, was a truck driver who claimed there was nothing he could do to help the girl.
Chritton, 42, was found guilty in November of four felonies, highlighted by child abuse and neglecting a child. His wife, the girl’s stepmother, was sentenced to five years in prison for staving the girl back in July. Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 44, was primarily the one who was at home with the girl. Meanwhile, her husband, Chad, was on the road while his teenage daughter was being abused.
In a statement read before his sentencing on Wednesday, Chritton told the court, “There was no master plan against my daughter. I was bailing water from a sinking boat with my bare hands.”
His daughter came to live with him in Wisconsin because her father feared that she was being sexually abused by her step father in Texas. Eventually, Chritton discovered that his little girl was more damaged than he had originally known. She refused to eat and threatened to hurt, even kill Chritton, his wife, and stepson.
During the initial investigation, it was also revealed that Chritton’s stepson had been sexually abusing the girl. In a letter to the court, the girl wrote, “They made me feel like I was dehumanized a lot. It’s all thanks to my stupid dad and stepmom for not giving me an education and keeping me locked up for most of my life and making me feel like I was in a scary spot in my life.”
No one would have known about the abuse of the teenage girl if it had not been for a neighbor noticing her walking barefoot in the neighborhood back in 2012. Stopping to see if everything was ok, it was quickly discovered that something was wrong. The teenage girl weighed a pathetic 68 pounds and seemed dazed and confused.
Social workers had been involved in the past, because of the girl’s violent nature and her father feels they should have removed her from the home. He claims he could not have known the severity of the situation because he was always on the road. Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese disagreed with his defense.
“What I think you did was put your head in the sand. It’s your job as a dad to see it and you didn’t. Really, the buck stops with you,” the judge said.
The man will be spending the next five years in prison for starving the girl. His stepson is still awaiting trial for sexual assault.