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Monday, October 30, 2017

Illinois Parents Accused of Leaving Disabled Teen Locked in Filthy Room for 2 Years

Prosecutors say Charles Hopkins III, 59, and his longtime girlfriend, Marinda Y. Hicks, 38,  locked their mentally impaired daughter inside a squalid, waste-covered bedroom for at least two years.

Chicago, IL - The south suburban parents of nine children locked their adult daughter, who has severe cognitive disabilities, inside a squalid, waste-covered bedroom for at least two years, prosecutors said Saturday.

article by William Lee | Chicago Tribune | Oct. 28, 2017                                                           
Cook County Judge Sophia Atcherson on Saturday ordered Charles Hopkins III, 59, and his longtime girlfriend, Marinda Y. Hicks, 38, released without posting bail and both with electronic monitoring on several neglect-related charges, including endangerment of a child, criminal neglect of a person with a disability and abuse or neglect of a physically disabled person by a caregiver.

Both were scheduled to appear before another judge at the Markham Courthouse next week.

Hopkins and Hicks have nine children together, ranging in age from 1 to 20, prosecutors said at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. Since at least 2015, both parents used a locking gate to kept their 18-year-old daughter confined to a bedroom in the home they shared with their other children in the 1800 block of West Vermont Street in Blue Island.

The young woman, who has the mental capacity of a small child, was not allowed to leave the room, authorities said. Her family installed a portable toilet inside her room, but only emptied it every four or five days, said Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Pressling.

The daughter, who cannot care for or clean herself, was fed through the bars of the gate and slept on a mattress covered in human waste and menstrual blood, according to authorities.

The windows to the young woman’s bedroom were barred and a board covered the bars, according to court documents. The couple’s home lacked hot water and food, and the home’s roof was caving in.

Previously, the key to the daughter’s bedroom was held by the woman’s parents and one other person, authorities said. But in May, Hopkins changed the lock to the gate and carried the only key with him to work, meaning no one in the home could let the woman out when he wasn’t there, Pressling said.

During the hearing, Hopkins’ private attorney Elliot Zinger asked for a signature bond, citing the lack of a criminal record for his client, adding that there was “a lot more to the story” than what prosecutors claimed.

The judge allowed for their release, but barred contact between Hopkins and Hicks with children except for their own minor children, as long as they were in compliance with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

A DCFS representative wasn’t immediately available Saturday night.


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