Kearney Hub: Family members accused of repeatedly abusing mentally disabled woman in Sherman County

LITCHFIELD — Five Litchfield residents are accused of repeatedly abusing an adult mentally disabled woman in Sherman County.

The two males and three females are each charged in Sherman County Court for their roles in allegedly abusing a disabled family member on Jan. 8 at a rural Litchfield house. The suspects range in age from 18 to 60.

They are:

– A 60-year-old woman charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult.

– A 51-year-old man charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult and felony assault by strangulation.

– A 40-year-old woman charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult and felony second-degree assault.

– A 34-year-old woman charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult and felony second-degree assault.

– An 18-year-old man charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult, felony second-degree assault and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

In an effort to protect the identity of the victim, the names of the alleged perpetrators will not be posted in this article. The 51-year-old man is scheduled to appear in court in April, while the other four suspects are scheduled to appear in court in March.

On Jan. 8 court records indicate a Sherman County Sheriff deputy received an anonymous report that a mentally disabled woman was intentionally being given magnesium citrate, a saline laxative and brownies laced with laxatives without her knowledge. Deputies found Facebook messages between four of the five suspects where they discussed the laxatives being put into the alleged victim’s drink and baked into the brownies.

The alleged victim drank the soda and ate several brownies, and hours later vomited.

On Jan. 30 deputies were called to a house in rural Litchfield to check on the disabled woman’s welfare. A passerby reported two people were dragging a woman under the arms. A witness told deputies the disabled woman is treated like a child, yelled at regularly and sometimes denied food by family members.

On Feb. 4 deputies responded to the rural Litchfield house where a witness reported the 60-year-old woman and the 51-year-old man treat the disabled woman like a slave, saying she must ask permission to eat and shower, and she is required to do all the outside chores by herself. Several weeks earlier a witness said the 51-year-old man strangled the disabled woman until she turned purple during an argument between the man and the 60-year-old woman.

Witnesses told deputies of a similar strangulation incident in October 2019 where the disabled woman was pushed into a china hutch.

Deputies also were told the 60-year-old woman has slapped the disabled woman, while the 51-year-old man has punched her. Both were accused of taking the disabled woman’s Social Security money.

In December family members, including the alleged victim, were socializing and drinking alcohol at the house. A witness told deputies the 18-year-old man grabbed the disabled woman by the arm and flung her across the room causing her head to hit the corner of an entertainment center.

The disabled woman had a gash to her forehead and to the crown of her head.

During that incident, records indicate the 60-year-old woman told the disabled woman to drink large amounts of Everclear (liquor) both before and after she hit her head. The following day family members told the disabled woman she tripped and fell accidentally on her own.

Witnesses also said the 18-year-old man also allegedly hit and punched the disabled woman on multiple occasions. On two separate incidents the man hit the disabled woman causing two black eyes.

The man also would make the alleged victim perform military-type drills by running up and down the driveway and doing pushups. During one of those incidents, the investigation revealed the alleged victim didn’t run up the driveway, and the 18-year-old man tied a rope around her foot and dragged her a short distance with an all-terrain vehicle, although she was uninjured.

The man also called her names and would hit her in the face, giving her a black eye, according to reports.

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