Wis. woman gets 5 years in starvation case

UPDATED Friday, July 26, 2013 --- 4:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has sentenced a Wisconsin woman accused of torturing her teenage stepdaughter and starving her down to 68 pounds to five years in prison.

The Madison woman pleaded no contest in April to first-degree recklessly endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. The charges carry a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Judge Julie Genovese sentenced her to eight years in the state prison system, including five years behind bars and three years on extended supervision.

A jury found the woman's husband, who is the girl's father, guilty of child neglect but deadlocked on other counts. He's set to stand trial again in November. The girl's stepbrother is set to stand trial in February on charges he sexually assaulted her.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, July 26, 2013 --- 3:55 a.m.

Melinda Drabek-Chritton, who is accused of torturing her teenage stepdaughter and starving her down to 68 pounds, was sentenced Friday afternoon.

A judge sentenced her to 8 years, consisting of 5 years in prison and 3 years of extended supervision.

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UPDATED Friday, July 26, 2013 --- 4:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge is expected to sentence a Madison woman accused of torturing her teenage stepdaughter and starving her down to 68 pounds.

The woman pleaded no contest in April to first-degree recklessly endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. Both charges are felonies and carry a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Judge Julie Genovese is set to sentence her on Friday.

A jury found the woman's husband, who is the girl's father, guilty of child neglect in March but deadlocked on other counts. He's set to stand trial again in November. The girl's stepbrother is set to stand trial in February on charges he sexually assaulted her.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 --- 6:14 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A 19-year-old Madison man has pleaded guilty to one of five sexual assault charges connected with a starvation investigation involving his stepsister.

WISC-TV reports the other four charges were dropped Monday. He was released on a signature bond to await sentencing in October. It's one of three separate criminal cases against him, and involved a 15-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty last month in a case involving a 13-year-old girl. He faces trial in February on charges related to his stepsister.

Their mother pleaded no contest in April to recklessly endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child for allegedly starving her teenage stepdaughter down to 68 pounds. She's scheduled for sentencing July 26.

The Associated Press isn't naming anyone in the family to avoid identifying the girl.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Tuesday, April 30, 2013 --- 2:46 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Madison woman accused of torturing her teenage stepdaughter and starving her down to 68 pounds is set to be sentenced in July.

The woman pleaded no contest earlier this month to first-degree recklessly endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. Both charges are felonies and carry a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese has scheduled the woman's sentencing hearing for July 26.

A jury found the woman's husband, who is the girl's father, guilty of child neglect in March. The girl's stepbrother is set to stand trial in June on charges he sexually assaulted her.

Copyright: Associate Press 2013

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UPDATED Monday, April 8, 2013--3:00 p.m.

MADISON--A woman accused in one of the year's highest profile cases will not stand trial.

Melinda Drabek and her husband, Chad Chritton, were accused of starving, torturing and locking Chritton's teenage daughter in the basement. In February 2012 the girl ran away from home and was found by a passerby. At the time, she was 15 and weighed only 68 pounds.

Jury selection was supposed to begin today for the case against Melinda Drabek; instead she's plead no contest. Originally, she was charged with six felonies. But because she's plead no contest, she will be sentenced on two counts: first degree recklessly endangering safety and mental harm to a child. The other four charges have been dismissed.

Her attorney said she plead no contest because she didn't think she could get a fair trial. "The misleading facts alongside the other facts that may have had merit, and those were just too pejorative for her to have confidence that would be overcome at this point," said her attorney, Thomas McClure. "Especially with what has already happened with the other case and she just felt at this point it was the most reasonable thing to do."

The other case he mentioned refers to her husband, Chad Chritton.
He was convicted of felony child neglect last month.

Drabek could now face up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

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UPDATED Monday, April 8, 2013 --- 11:55 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin woman accused of torturing and starving her teenage stepdaughter has pleaded no contest to child abuse-related charges.

The woman entered the plea Monday to first-degree reckless endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

Both charges are felonies carrying a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

The woman entered the pleas in a deal that came hours before her trial was to start. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other felony counts as part of the deal.

Investigators say the woman and her husband, the girl's father, kept the girl locked in their basement, tortured her and starved her down to 68 pounds.

Copyright: Associate Press 2013

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Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 --- 7:31 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to choose jurors for the trial of a Madison woman accused of torturing and starving her teenage stepdaughter.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday morning. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

Investigators say the woman and her husband, who is the girl's father, kept the girl locked in their basement, tortured her and starved her down to 68 pounds. The girl ran away from the house in February 2012. A passing motorist found her wandering the streets and called police.

A jury last month found the girl's father guilty of child neglect. The Associated Press isn't naming the father or the stepmother to avoid identifying the girl, who has accused her stepbrother of sexually assaulting her.

Copyright: Associate Press 2013


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