Family from hell

Failed father: Chad Chritten, 42, was found guilty of starving and neglecting his daughter for a number of years until she escaped wearing only pajamas

Failed father: Chad Chritten, 42, was found guilty of starving and neglecting his daughter for a number of years until she escaped wearing only pajamas

Father found guilty of starving daughter, 16, down to 68lbs ‘while stepmother beat her and brother sexually assaulted her during six years she was imprisoned in the basement’


A Wisconsin man who locked his daughter in the basement and starved her down to only 68 pounds is headed to prison.

Chad Chritten, 42, kept his daughter locked in the basement for six years while her stepmother beat her and her stepbrother sexually assaulted her until she escaped in February 2012 and was rescued by a good Samaritan.

Mr Chritten was found guilty Friday of three felonies – second-degree reckless endangerment, child abuse and causing mental harm to a child, according to reports. He was found not guilty of false imprisonment.

The trio was arrested after the girl told investigators the sordid details of the torture she suffered at the hands of those she loved.

She was locked in the basement and denied food despite pleading to be fed.

Her stepmother Melinda Drabek-Chritten often beat her and even threatened to throw her down a flight of stairs.

Stepbrother Joshua Chritten, now 20, repeatedly forced her to perform oral sex on him, officials contend.

The brave girl was wearing only pajamas when she escaped the house of horrors, she is now only 16-years-old.

Her depraved family first tried to explain her shocking departure from the growth of a girl her age by telling authorities she suffered from bulimia, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

               Joshua Drabek       Melinda Drabek-Chritten
Family affair: Stepbrother Joshua Drabek (left) will stand trial next year to face sexual assault allegations, stepmother Melinda Drabek-Chritten (right) is serving a five-year term in prison for beating the teen girl

 Assistant District Attorney Matthew Moeser argued during the trial that she instead was forced to forage for scraps of food from the kitchen floor and trash.

The tortured teen was forced to go to the bathroom on her own bed because of an alarm that alerted her tormenters if she tried to leave the basement.

He explained while testifying in his defense that he put her in the basement after a psychologist said she should live on a different level of the home than the rest of the family.

He boarded up the windows so she wouldn’t climb out and raid the neighbors’ trash, he said.

He denied ever locking her in or withholding food.

She refused to eat the meals he made for her and chose to dine on crumbs and garbage, he said.

He called the girl’s suffering ‘a mistake.’

Supposing that Mr Chritten’s intent was to ‘dehumanize and degrade’ his daughter, Mr Moeser said the evil man made ‘her blame herself for what he was doing to her,’ according to the Journal.

‘This was so far from reasonable parenting, and to call what was done to (the girl) a mistake is an insult to the English language,’ he continued, referring to the vile man’s testimony earlier during the trial, according to the Journal.

‘This is so far from a mistake.’

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