A couple accused of locking two children in a basement, exposing them to sexual acts and feeding them just once a day are now in custody, Georgia police say.
Thomas Charles Young, 42, and Tamara Raychell McGowan, 38, have been charged with cruelty to children and deprivation of necessary sustenance in the 1st degree, among other charges, DeKalb County arrest records show.
“They’re a piece of trash, that’s what they are, to do that to kids,” neighbor Tim Webster told WSB-TV. “Just pure scum. No child deserves that. I’m sorry.”
The Stone Mountain couple was arrested Wednesday after officers with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Sex Offender unit found them sleeping inside a car at a Walmart parking lot, according to FOX5 Atlanta.
Authorities allege the abuse happened between June 2017 and April 2018.
Investigators say the couple exposed the victims to drugs and sexual acts, and that Young tried to coerce the children into performing sexual favors on him.
The ages of the children have not been released.
Young’s uncle, Arthur Lee Dyers, said his nephew is innocent.
“Ain’t no kids been locked here in no basement…that’s a damn lie,” Dyers told FOX5 Atlanta.
The couple have reportedly been denied bond and they have yet to receive a scheduled court date.