Michigan mom who locked her 5 kids in bedroom for days without food and water while beating them repeatedly pleads guilty
Sarah Conde pleaded guilty to child abuse after she allegedly locked her children in a bedroom and denied them basic needs. Her husband Yenier Conde awaits trial
A mother-of-five pleaded guilty to child abuse after being accused of whipping her children and keeping them locked up in a bedroom described as a "dungeon". The mom, 29-year-old Sarah Conde, was in tears as she admitted in court to one count of second-degree child abuse involving her five children in Michigan as part of a plea agreement, according to a Daily Mail report.
According to the report, the charge followed after she admitted she denied dental care for her children, all of whom were found to have decaying teeth.
According to CPS documents obtained by Lansing State Journal, the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office is set to drop 12 other counts including first-and second-degree child abuse, unlawful imprisonment, and assault with a dangerous weapon as part of the deal.
The abuse, which began in 2011 and was only discovered in 2017, led to charges against Sarah and her husband Yenier Conde last year. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Yenier is awaiting trial on July 11 over charges including child abuse and unlawful imprisonment.
According to sentencing guidelines, the maximum term for second-degree child abuse is 10 years. However, Judge Clinton Canady agreed to keep her minimum sentence within the range of 29 months to 43 months.
The couple has since divorced and lost custody of their children, who are now between the ages of seven and 12 and have been placed in foster care. One of them reportedly has cancer. The children told Child Protective Services they were frequently threatened with guns and beaten on a regular basis, investigators claimed.
According to CPS, Conde stopped taking the second child, a boy, to the doctors soon after he went into remission with a brain cancer called neuroblastoma. According to the report, he was just two when his mother stopped taking appointments for his treatment.
The cancer caused the child to lose control of his bowel movements so he needed a diaper. The report stated he was sent to school at least once with dirty diapers.
Other allegations included that the children were often locked in their bedroom for long periods without food, water, or a chance to use the restroom, according to the State Journal. It also stated that the CPS removed the children from their care only in 2017 — after being contacted at least 12 times regarding concerns for their well being.
Shockingly, the abusive parents did not let the kids out to use the restroom and gave them diapers instead. The eldest sibling told CPS they would often break holes in the walls in a bid to pass food and water through, or escape captivity altogether.
Investigators learned that, at times, Sarah would try to help them escape and provided them with food and water through a heating vent. However, both parents would beat them with a belt if they attempted to escape through the vent, the boy said. The children would be kept locked up from anywhere between 10 hours to two days.
During interrogation, Sarah denied knowledge of the kids being locked in a room. However, Yenier claimed his wife had asked him to build a door in the bedroom.
According to the children, Sarah ran a dog breeding business from the home and there were as many as 11 dogs inside the house often. When CPS visited the home, they complained the children smelled of "urine and feces", ABC13 reported. A psychiatrist evaluated the kids and concluded they had also suffered severe psychological abuse which resulted in mood disorders and PTSD.