January 31st, 2014
A Wisconsin father convicted of abuse for starving his teenage daughter down to 68 pounds was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison. Before being sentenced the 42-year-old man read a statement insisting his daughter suffered from severe emotional and behavioral problems that he couldn’t handle, that his job as a trucker kept him away from home and that he didn’t notice how thin she had become. There was no master plan against my daughter,” the man said, his voice breaking at times. The case came to light in February 2012 when the girl, then 15, ran away from her family’s Madison home and was picked up by a passing motorist. The girl told investigators she had spent most of the previous five years confined to the home’s basement and was denied food. The girl also told investigators that her stepmother beat her, her stepbrother repeatedly forced her to perform sexual activities with him and she was forced to eat her feces and drink her own urine. “They made me feel like I was dehumanized a lot,” the girl said in a letter. “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.” Genovese sentenced the stepmother to five years in prison this summer after the woman pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child. The stepbrother is set to stand trial on sexual assault charges next month. The father went through two trials. Jurors in March deadlocked on some charges, leading to a second proceeding in November. In all, he was convicted of child neglect, child abuse, reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child, all felonies. He was acquitted of false imprisonment and misdemeanor neglect.