Wisconsin man Chad G. Chritton was handed his prison sentence yesterday. Chritton, 42, will serve five years in prison after it was discovered he and his family kept their daughter locked in the basement of their home while she was starved, beaten, and forced to eat her own feces.
His crimes were discovered when the daughter, now 17 years old, ran away from home in February of 2011. She was found in her pajamas and weighed only 68 pounds. Her deplorable health condition prompted an investigation by law enforcement officials.
Chritton will serve the same length prison sentence as his wife, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, who was convicted on similar charges last year. Presiding judge Julie Genovese said the five year sentence should be viewed as one of many punishments doled out to Chritton since the investigation began. He already lost his home, job, and custody of his two other children. His heavily publicized case has ruined any reputation he may have once had in the Dane County community.
Though the daughter was not present at Chritton’s sentencing, she did testify in court earlier on in the trial. She told prosecutors Chritton and his wife made her feel like their “personal slave” during her first 15 years of life.
“I was yelled and screamed at numerous times by Chad and Melinda, they even made me feel like I was really dehumanized a lot,” she wrote in a letter to the court. She added that she was threatened “every single day of my life with them.”
She also wrote of her parents refusing to let her attend school.
“With those six years of no education, those were also the years that I started losing my life, the life I wanted to own and didn’t until I ran away,” she wrote. “I do not, do not want to see Chad Chritton ever again, and I do not want to hear from him and I do not want anything from him anymore ever again.”
Chritton’s son, 20 year old Joshua Drabek, goes to trial next month on charges of sexual abuse. It is alleged that he sexually abused the girl, his half-sister, throughout their childhood. Prosecutors argued that Chritton and his wife kept their daughter from attending school out of fear that she would report the sexual abuse to authorities.
Chritton had only apologies to offer in his closing statement.
“I am sorry I was not the father you needed me to be,” he said. “I am sorry I did not take better care of you. I wish you happiness for the rest of your life.”