A Pennsylvania woman, charged with abusing her adopted daughter for years, appeared in court Thursday and heard testimony from her alleged victim.
Prosecutors say Rana Cooper subjected the 16-year-old to seven years of humiliating and tortuous abuse.
“She scooped cat litter with a scooper and shoved it in my mouth while holding my throat,” the unnamed girl testified Thursday, according to WPXI.
“Any time mom was yelling or choking me or punishing me, the dog would bite me and latch ahold of my arm and tear into my skin. I have scars and a big hole in my leg because of it,” the girl told those sitting in the Washington County courtroom.
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News of Cooper’s alleged abuse made headlines last month as details of her daughter’s complaints were released to the press.
“If it was time to eat and no one else was around, mother would allow child to eat and would make the child shovel food quickly into her mouth,” wrote state police Cpl. Robert Copechal in a report cited by the Daily Mail.
“Mother would then make the child tell mother that she was eating one of her brothers,” Copechal added in the report.
Among other allegations listed in news stories are that Cooper bit the girl’s nose until it bled, hit the girl in the face with a metal belt buckle and attempted to sew the girl’s mouth shut with a needle and thread, but stopped after piercing her lower lip.
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Cooper’s 24-year-old son, identified in one story only as “Ronnie,” said the stories are lies.
“Nothing, none of that happened,” he told KDKA in October. “Like, I’m here every day, like, none of these are true.”
The girl stuck to her story Thursday and said her adoptive father was aware of the abuse and had grown concerned.
“My dad said he was going to leave because she wouldn’t stop yelling and hurting me,” the alleged victim testified.
Police arrested the adoptive father Thursday, saying he could have done more to stop the abuse.
He is in custody with bail set at $100,000.
When asked by a reporter if Cooper made her daughter eat litter, Cooper said she hadn’t.
“No,” she said. “I am a good mother, very good mother.”
Her daughter was last reported to be in the care of other family members.