Leekin facing new charge in extensive child abuse case
By Melissa E. Holsman (Contact)
FORT PIERCE — A Port St. Lucie woman accused of mistreating and neglecting 11 adopted children was arrested this week on another charge of aggravated child abuse, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
Judith Leekin, 63, was arrested at the St. Lucie County Jail, where she’s been since July 18 after the conclusion of her criminal case in New York City.
In July, a federal judge sentenced Leekin to 130 months in prison for defrauding New York’s adoption system out of $1.68 million.
She was ordered to pay back the money and forfeit her interest in her homes in Port St. Lucie and Sanford.
Leekin’s arrest Tuesday raises her bond to $4.46 million, jail officials confirmed. However, she’s also being held on no bond out of New York.
Locally, she’s facing 11 felony charges related to allegations she beat her children, forced them to sleep on the floor, bound them with plastic ties and kept them away from school and medical care.
Circuit Judge Robert Belanger on Wednesday agreed to continue Leekin’s case until Jan. 8.