Prosecutor: Teen held captive in ‘deplorable’ home


WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. — A prosecutor describes as “deplorable” the conditions in a southwestern Illinois home where a teenage girl says she was held captive and sexually assaulted every day for two years.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said Friday that the girl’s account of her captivity in Washington Park is “horrific.” Kelly has not visited the home but heard about it from investigators.

The teen told police she escaped this week with a relative’s help.

Authorities raided the house Thursday and arrested a 24-year-old man and his mother. They also recovered the teen’s child, who she said is the result of rape by her captor.

Kelly says he believes “there’s something to it.”

Police have not named the man or his mother because they had not been charged as of Friday.

The teen girl reported missing more than two years ago told police she escaped a home in southwestern Illinois where she had been held captive and repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Authorities in Washington Park, a village next to East St. Louis, raided the house Thursday afternoon and took into custody a 24-year-old man and his mother. They also recovered the teen’s young child, which the girl said was the result of rape by her captor.

Washington Park Police Chief David Clark said they believe the man’s mother aided the crimes. Police would not identify either of them by name because they had not been charged as of early Friday.

About two dozen members of a SWAT team wearing helmets and body armor swarmed the home with assault rifles drawn. They recovered the child and arrested a man and his mother.

One officer carried the child from the home, shielding the toddler with a sheet. The child was then taken away in an ambulance.

Police in St. Louis, Mo., had listed the girl as a missing or runaway juvenile in April 2010. She was 15 when she disappeared.

The teen told police she was held against her will and was beaten and sexually assaulted almost every day. She reported trying to escape several times but told police that her captor chased her down each time and forced her back to the home at gunpoint.

She told police she was able to escape this week with the help of a relative.

Police said the teen also told them she was forced by the man and his mother to give a false name in medical records during her pregnancy and when the child was born.

A neighbor, Lakeitha Smith, told several local TV stations that she saw the girl from time to time outside the house and never witnessed anything that would raise concern.

“I used to see her come out of the house, back and forth,” Smith said. “I didn’t think she was being held hostage in the house.”