HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- A 12-year-old girl who authorities say was locked in a basement for weeks has testified that she was held under cold showers, slapped, spanked and fed peanut butter sandwiches for punishment.
The Hamilton JournalNews reports the girl cuddled a teddy bear as she spoke Tuesday in a Butler County court in Hamilton. It was the first day of the bench trial for 40-year-old Shawn Blackston and 37-year-old Joanna Blackston of Middletown.
The Blackstons are each charged with a child endangering misdemeanor for allegedly locking the 12-year-old in the basement and have pleaded not guilty. They were arrested in July after authorities said they found the girl in the basement, dirty and underweight.
The girl is in foster care, as are five other children who lived in the home.