Fairfield County couple charged with keeping 15-year-old daughter in shed

Date: 2014-09-13
Source: dispatch.com

By Mary Beth Lane

LANCASTER, Ohio — A Fairfield County couple has been charged with child abuse, accused of forcing their 15-year-old daughter to live in an outbuilding without food, water or a toilet.

Douglas Lyle Sherman, 64, and Kim Eng Sherman, 60, were arrested on Thursday night at their home at 10200 Lithopolis Rd. in Bloom Township. They are being held in the Fairfield County jail, Sheriff Dave Phalen said yesterday.

Deputies found a disturbing arrangement when they went to the home, which has a small outbuilding attached in the rear.

Their daughter was made to live in the outbuilding, and she was refused entry to the family home for food and other necessities, Phalen said.

The girl spent nights in the outbuilding with no lights, water or toilet. She used a garden hose and soap placed outside the building to shower, and used the woods to relieve herself, Phalen said.

Two cinder blocks supporting a sheet of plywood covered by cardboard served as a makeshift bed in the outbuilding, he said.

“It was very disturbing, to say the least,” Phalen said.

It is believed that the girl has been kept in the outbuilding consistently since around Aug. 1. She may have been made to stay there, off and on, for longer, he said.

County Child Protective Services has taken the girl and her brother into protective custody. Her brother lived in the family home, Phalen said.

“I don’t know what their motive is — whether it was a form of discipline — but our sense is this was going on for a period of time,” Phalen said.

Mr. Sherman is charged with child endangering and intimidation, both third-degree felonies punishable by a maximum of five years in prison for each if convicted. He also is charged with telephone harassment and menacing, both misdemeanors.

Mrs. Sherman is charged with child endangering.

He was in jail in lieu of $35,000 bond and she in lieu of $25,000 bond. They are expected to be arraigned on Monday, Phalen said.

He was in jail in lieu of $35,000 bond and she in lieu of $25,000 bond. They are expected to be arraigned on Monday, Phalen said.

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