GBI: Middle Ga. couple forced adopted child to stay in chicken coop
Updated: 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Posted: 3:40 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By Jennifer Griffies
A couple from Middle Georgia forced their 15-year-old adopted daughter to stay in a chicken coop, outhouse or storage shed when she misbehaved, the GBI says.
Diana and Samuel Franklin, of Butler, Georgia, have now been charged with cruelty to children and false imprisonment.
"The child basically said that there were just a series of fairly severe, what can be described as punishments, for various things that the child allegedly did - some as simple as not doing homework and then others like taking food," the GBI's Wayne Smith told News/Talk WSB.
Smith says sometimes the girl was in these places for days at a time.
The girl was also forced to stay in an old outhouse that was about four feet in size. She was even sometimes forced into a chicken coop.
"It's called that because it's a building that's actually shared with a chicken and a hen where the chickens can come in and out of the building for shelter. It is actually segregated from the side that the child stayed in," said Smith.
Smith says the torture did not end there.
"In addition to being required to stay out in this environment, there were also food restrictions that were also instituted, such as nothing but bread and water for days at a time and sometimes no water at all for a day or two," said Smith.
He says the parents are also charged with physically abusing the child, who was adopted in 2009. The child claims the abuse started immediately and progressively became more severe.
Smith is also looking into the possibility that the couple's three natural children may have been involved in the abuse.
"There are some indications that they had a role in some of this," said Smith. "If food had to be taken to the child, they would be the ones the mother or father would say, 'take this down. Take this bread and water down and give it to the child.'"
The child has been placed in temporary state custody.
An attorney for the couple has denied the allegations.
The town of Butler is in Taylor County, about halfway between Warner Robbins and Columbus.