3 indicted after Ohio girl’s email plea for help

Two parents and a grandmother accused of tying three home-schooled children to their beds for weeks at a time, beating their naked bodies with belts and paddles and depriving them of food were indicted Tuesday on child endangerment charges.

The indictments, in Scioto County Common Pleas Court, came a week after the three adults were arrested in their home in Wheelersburg, in southern Ohio’s Appalachian country. One of the children had emailed an online school’s teacher for help.

The adults are charged with child endangerment. One of them, a 44-year-old stepfather, also was charged with raping two of the children, girls ages 9 and 11.

The adults’ attorneys have declined to comment or ignored requests for comment.

The Scioto County sheriff’s office said it learned about the abuse after one of the girls sent an email for help to a teacher at the children’s online school.

Since at least May, the three adults are accused of tying and chaining the girls and their 8-year-old brother to their beds so they were “unable to move or get out of the bed” for weeks at a time, according to arrest documents filed in Portsmouth Municipal Court.

The stepfather, who’s from the Virgin Islands, is accused of raping each girl multiple times while forcing the other to watch, the documents said.

The children also described being forced to take their clothes off to be beaten with belts and paddles, and they had marks and scars to match their stories, Scioto County sheriff’s Capt. David Hall said last week.