A Mayes County couple and their daughter are headed to trial after a 9-year-old testified on Thursday about the years of abuse she endured at their hands.
The little girl told the judge she was lucky to eat twice a day, was handcuffed to her "pack and play," and forced to wear diapers because she wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom.
She said all these things happened when she was living with her guardians, Joel and Amanda Smith, and their daughter Allison.
The girl showed up with friends from Bikers Against Child Abuse, who came to support her as she recounted the four years she lived with the Smiths.
She told the judge she had to sneak around to look for food, and sometimes resorted to eating paper and pig feed.
She said Joel and Amanda would hit her with a belt and a broom, one time hitting her so hard the broom broke, making her bleed.
She also said one year for Christmas, Santa left her coal and a note that said, “hope you can do better.”
News On 6 exclusively talked to the people who are now taking care of the little girl. They said she’s one of the bravest little girls they’ve ever known.
“She’s pretty strong for what she’s been through I think,” the man said. “I can’t imagine a child having to go through that.”
“The first thing she told me, she told me, ‘mom, I was praying to Jesus. I was praying for him to help me get out and it came true mom! It came true.’ I’m just so proud of her,” the woman said.
The judge is ordering the Smiths to stand trial for child abuse and neglect. Their next court date is next month.