On Saturday, the parents of nine children were arrested when police found out they had locked up their eldest daughter, who has severe cognitive issues, in a room for two years.
Prosecutors reported that the room itself had been ignored and therefore putrid with bacteria. The Chicago Tribune reported that Charles Hopkins III, 59, and his longtime girlfriend, Marinda Y. Hicks, 38, were released by Cook County Judge Sophia Atcherson on Saturday. They did not post bail but were both assigned electronic monitoring on several neglect-related charges, including endangerment of a child, criminal neglect of a person with a disability and abuse or neglect of a physically disabled person by a caregiver.
Authorities reported that the young woman cannot mentally nor physically take care of herself, much like a small child, was not allowed to leave her room. For her bathroom needs she had an installed bathroom in the tiny room. According to Assistant State’s Attorney Kim Pressling, they only emptied it every four or five days.
Having the mental capacity of a baby means the daughter cannot care or clean for herself. For food and nutrition, she was fed through the bars of the gates and slept on a mattress covered in her own waste and menstrual blood.
Her room had bars on the windows and board covered those bars so very little light came in. Not to mention the rest of the house was also in a poor state, it lacked hot water and the roof was caving in.
Before the arrest, the only people who had the key to the daughter’s bedroom was the woman’s parents and one other person.
However, in May of this year, Hopkins decided to change the lock to the gate and he became the sole carrier of the key. He would take it to work all day meaning no one in the home could let the woman out when he wasn’t there.
Hopkins and Hicks have nine children together, all in ages from 1 to 20. Since at least 2015, both parents used a locking gate to kept their 18-year-old daughter confined to a bedroom in the home they shared with their other children in the 1800 block of West Vermont Street in Blue Island.
The judge allowed for their release, but denied contact between Hopkins and Hicks with children except for their own minor children, as long as they were in compliance with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.