An Ohio couple faces charges that they kept a 9-year-old girl locked in their bathroom for 6 years, only letting her out to go to school and for special occasions.
Brian Hart, 50, and his wife Rivae Hart, 49, told Dayton Police that they began locking her up when she was 3 years old due to behavior problems. However, a psychologist who examined the girl at that age said her behavior was normal.
Rivae Hart is the girl's grandmother, and the couple are her legal guardians.
According to Sgt. Larry Tolpin, the girl's development is normal for a fourth-grader, despite having been kept in the bathroom for the past six years. The bathroom was blocked by two dressers, and inside the girl slept on a cot wit a blanket but no pillow.
Police believe that the last time she was allowed out of the bathroom for a reason other than school was in 2007. Tolpin added:
"Meals were inconsistent at best, and basically the living conditions were deplorabl."
The situation came to light when the girl told a school nurse about her living conditions. She and three other children who lived in the apartment (the girl's brother and the couple's biological children), have been placed into foster care.