Father, Stepmother Allegedly Keep 13-Year-Old Locked Up in Room for Almost Two Years

A 13-year-old girl's father and stepmother were arrested after the teen told police she had been locked in a room for nearly two years, allowed out only for meals, chores and one-minute timed bathroom breaks, authorities said.

Clint M. Engstrom, 32, and stepmother, Lynn M. Engstrom, 35, were charged Tuesday with one count each of causing mental harm to a child, a felony.

"The behavior they engaged in and the conditions this child was kept in are just appalling," District Attorney Christian Gossett said.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl had been locked in a small bedroom since February 2005 as punishment for bad behavior, spending 22 hours a day in the room that had an alarm and dead-bolt lock on the door.

A camera recorded the girl's activities, and the room's only furnishings were a urine-soaked mattress, blanket, pillow and empty dresser, the complaint said.

Court Commissioner Daniel Bissett set bond at $25,000 cash each and scheduled a preliminary hearing Jan. 25.

Detectives learned the girl's story when her parents brought her to a hospital on Jan. 12 because she was hearing voices, Gossett said. He said he did not anticipate filing other charges against the parents.

The complaint said a search found that there were toys and electronics for three other children living at the home, about 90 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but virtually nothing for the 13-year-old girl.

If convicted, the couple faces more than 12 years in prison each and a $25,000 fine.

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