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Sixth person now charged in Sherman County adult abuse case; five family members have been convicted

Sixth person now charged in Sherman County adult abuse case; five family members have been convicted

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LITCHFIELD — A sixth Litchfield resident has been charged in connection with the abuse of a mentally disabled woman in Sherman County.

Charles W. Strong, 28, is charged in Sherman County Court with possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, attempted first-degree sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult, all felonies, and third-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. The weapon violation is alleged to have happened on July 23, while the remaining charges allegedly happened in December 2019.

In February, five family members of the disabled woman were charged in connection with her December 2019 and January assaults.

Based on previous statements made in the family member’s cases, Sherman County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a followup investigation with Strong in July. The investigation alleges that Strong had a sexual relationship with the victim, and he allegedly discharged a firearm at her feet during an incident at a rural Litchfield residence.

Records also indicate Strong had a felony theft conviction in 2012.

Strong was arrested July 23, and later released on a $2,500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

One male and three females have been convicted of misdemeanors in Sherman County Court for their roles in the assault against the disabled woman. A second man has been convicted of two felonies in Sherman County District Court.

A 61-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man each were convicted of one count of misdemeanor third-degree assault in the incident.

A 40-year-old woman and a 35-year-old woman each were convicted of two counts of misdemeanor third-degree assault.

An 18-year-old man was convicted of felony abuse of a vulnerable adult and felony second-degree assault in the case, and was placed on two years probation.

All five will be sentenced in September.

On Jan. 8, 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 reportedly found Facebook messages between four of the five suspects where they discussed the laxatives being put into the victim’s drink and baked into the brownies.

The 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 61-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 was 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 61-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 61-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 61-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 said the 18-year-old man also 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 victim perform military-type drills by running up and down the driveway and doing pushups. During one of those incidents, the investigation revealed the 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. 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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