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Girl tells jury she thought her father 'would kill me'

Published On: Mar 11 2013 03:17:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 08 2013 04:55:15 PM CST
Chad Chritton

The 15-year-old daughter of a Madison man who's accused of abusing her told a Dane County  jury Friday that she slept on a dirty feather mattress with mold and other stains.

Chad Chritton is accused of locking the girl known in court documents as "SLC" in his basement and depriving her of food. He is charged with party to six felonies, including false imprisonment and child neglect resulting in bodily harm.

The girl told the jury she was forced to sleep on the floor when her mattress was taken away. She said she sneaked blankets to be more comfortable on the floor. She said she had to ask permission to bathe upstairs, but was told she could only wash up in the basement with cold water

SLC said she used a store-bought portable toilet to go to the bathroom in the basement. When it was taken away, she would use containers. She said she was forced to eat her feces, but not by Chritton.

She told the jury she tried to sneak food because she was always hungry. She said she would try to sneak frosting and crackers as food.

Chritton would call her names, choke her and slam her into the wall, according to SLC. She told the jury she was worried he would "snap my neck." He said Chritton would punish her when she misbehaved by forcing her to do numerous of exercises, including push-ups. She said she was happy when she ran away, but she was scared that father or stepmother would get her. She said she thought Chritton "would kill me."

SLC said her stepbrother tried to sexually assault her, and when she told Chritton and her stepmother, they didn't believe her.

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told jurors early in the trial that the girl was starved and locked in the basement by her family until she wasted away to 68 pounds.

During defense questioning, SLC admitted her imaginary friend threatened several members of her family with physical harm.

SLC's testimony came nine days into testimony in the trial. Her testimony ended Friday afternoon.

The jury has heard from the girl's mother, Chritton's family members, neighbors and numerous social workers who've had contact with the family.

The defense has said the girl had adequate clothes available to her and food at her disposal, but she was the one who chose not to dress appropriately and eat well.

Chritton's wife, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, is also facing six felonies, including child abuse and neglect. The girl's stepbrother has been accused of sexually assaulting her.

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