PITTSBURG COUNTY, Okla. - An Oklahoma father and stepmother have been charged with more than a dozen counts of abuse, torture and kidnapping.
"I think horrendous is a fair word, tragic, horrible, or evil," Pittsburg County District Attorney Chuck Sullivan said.
Sullivan said it’s one of the worst child abuse cases he has ever prosecuted. He also said he couldn't help but have an emotional reaction after seeing pictures of the 10-year-old girl, who he claims abused and tortured for months.
"It reminded me very much of the trip I took to Washington D.C. at the Holocaust Museum. Some of the photos there were similar condition," Sullivan said. "I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you that you don’t feel something, at least initially. This is a little kid, a little girl, didn’t do anything to deserve this."
Court records said the girl's father, Bill Menees and Ashley Shardein tortured the girl from about January to May.
The punishments listed in the affidavit included tying her hands and feet up, shaving her head, and restricting her diet to just spinach, oatmeal and water. It also said they didn't let her use the bathroom and forced her to stand for long periods of time in wet clothing under a cold fan.
Records also show the girl told investigators she was whipped with a paddle, a brown belt and a bar of soap stuffed into a sock.
McAlester Police Sargent Preston Rogers said his team investigated the case for months.
"These are the type of cases that go home with you and you're sitting there with your family at night thinking about the children and what they've gone through," Rogers said.
Shardein and Menees were taken into custody. Shardein was later taken away in an ambulance complaining of pregnancy complications. Their lawyer Brecken Wagner spoke to News On 6 after the arrest.
"There's two sides to every story, and there's much more to the story that hasn't been investigated, wasn't cared to be investigated, and it will eventually come out," Wagner said.
Sullivan said though the case is emotional, he plans to prosecute with facts.
"It's our duty do just as lady justice does. We wear a blindfold not to let sentiments or emotion cloud their judgment," Sullivan said.
Police said the girl is now safe and getting the medical care she needs. The DA's Office said Shardein and Menees' bail set at $100,000.