A South Florida couple, Marie Johnson, 43, and Rob Johnson, 44, were arrested on Tuesday for felony sexual assault.
According to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, the couple kept and sexually abused a teen relative for five years in their own home. The girl, whose name was not released, was sent to the Johnsons’ home when she was 13-years-old after her mother passed away. Reports say that Rob is the cousin of the teen’s mother.
The abuse started just days after the teen arrived in the Johnson home. According to a report by the New York Daily News, the couple told the girl that she could be part of the family if she has sex with them. Rob demanded the girl to call him “master,” and any refusal of sexual acts only resulted in beatings from Marie.
Police reports also indicate that the teen was beaten whenever she does not finish her chores at home. According to the unnamed teen, the beating and sexual assault took place for more than five years.
Throughout the five years, police say that Rob held Sunday school classes at home, teaching the teen about the Bible and justifying his horrific actions by quoting verses from the Old Testament. The teen was homeschooled and wasn’t allowed to use the telephone. The Daily Mail also reports that the couple took the time to teach the girl what to say if doctors asked her about her sexual activities.
Rob even gave the teen a ring, which he said symbolizes that she belonged to him.
The girl, who is now 21-year-old, was able to leave the Johnson home only after five years when her grandmother was able to buy a ticket for her to Ohio. She is facing anxiety and depression after being sexually abused by a relative in a place where she should have felt safe. The girl only mustered the courage to approach the police after discussing her ordeal with other sexual assault survivors.
Detective Herrington spoke about the abuse in a press conference a day after the Johnsons were arrested.
“This is one of the most heinous crimes we’ve seen sexually in a long time.
“We just want to say how brave our victim is to not only begin this process but to stay with the process.”
Rob and Marie live with their four sons, but there is no evidence that shows they suffered abuse at the hands of their parents.
Fox News reports that the Johnsons were freed on Wednesday after each posted a $60,000 bail.
[Image via WPTV]