Exclusive: Girl Locked Up for Months, Barely Fed
Family arrested in 14yo's appalling child abuse
Updated: Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010, 6:32 AM MST
Published : Tuesday, 09 Feb 2010, 4:58 PM MST
While she was in "lock-up," the girl says her father gave her a few cans of food, crackers and bread every one or two days -- but it wasn't ever enough to satisfy her hunger.
The girl told police that while she was in lock up, she was forced to exercise until exhaustion, beaten with belts and metal rods, and pulled up by her hair if she stopped exercising.
When officers opened the door, police say Bass was visibly surprised to see it empty. Inside the room was a 5-gallon bucket with about 4 inches of urine, a blanket on the tile floor, and empty cans of food, documents allege.
During questioning at the scene, Bass admitted to locking his daughter in the bathroom as discipline for stealing food and cheating in home school.
Further investigation found that the 14-year-old girl had been forced to live and sleep outside on the patio during the summer, locked in a closet for a week with no light, and locked in a bathroom for a week.
Police say that Andrea Bass acknowledged these facts, also saying, she no longer wanted to have anything to do with [the victim].
Family arrested in 14yo's appalling child abuse
Further investigation found that the 14-year-old girl had been forced to live and sleep outside on the patio during the summer, locked in a closet for a week with no light, and locked in a bathroom for a week. Police say that Andrea Bass acknowledged these facts, also saying, she no longer wanted to have anything to do with [the victim].
Medical evaluation found that the girl was in the 25th percentile for weight and in the 50th percentile for height, compared to other girls her age.
Scott and Andrea Bass were arrested on Feb. 4 on the following charges: unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, failure to report neglect of a minor, and child abuse.
The Basses have other children
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you....
Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
Thank goodness she was smart enough to figure out a way to escape and expose these monsters!
CPS had a number of complaints against the step-mom. So what the hell happened? Why wasn't this girl taken out of the home a long time ago? Why wasn't someone going to check on her once a week? Why wasn't something done?
Why do some of our children fall through the cracks? I just don't get it
I am glad she is out and hopefully safe now. I hope she was fed, given a warm bath and clean clothes and a whole bunch of hugs.
I know this is hardly the biggest issue, but how does one cheat in homeschool? It doesn't matter what the monsters say, after that one, nobody will buy it.
I am so glad they didn't break her, that she was willing to take the chance when she had it.
JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.
That poor poor girl!! I wonder if the other children were the step-mothers and this girl was singled out because she wasn't hers?
No mention on where her biological mother is.
I know there are many good parents who homeschool, but homeschooling also can help hide horrible abuse and IMO there needs to be some kind of visual check on children who are kept isolated.
Big red flag if there had already been attention brought to the step-mother, so why the He)) did this girl fall through the cracks! I hope this girl knows there are people who really do care about her and want good things.
Boyfriends and girlfriends are not Babysitters.
Just because you want to be with somebody does not mean they will take care of your children.
Police: Girl held captive in room for 2 months
by Jessica Testa - Feb. 10, 2010 10:51 AM
The Arizona Republic
According to court documents, the girl endured her "punishment" until Jan. 24, when she escaped by crawling through a linen closet, into an attic crawl space and kicking a board to get back into the living area of the house. She left through the back door and rode her bike to a movie theater on Van Buren Street. At the theater, an elderly couple gave her $50. She biked to a store at 44th Street and Thomas Road where she bought food, water, a backpack and new clothes. It was the first time she changed clothes in two weeks, the girl told police.
She then rode to a Starbucks in Scottsdale, where an employee called the police for her. Phoenix police were dispatched to the Bass home. Scott Bass, who works for a temporary agency, said he was unaware that his daughter had left the house when police officers and CPS agents arrived. According to court documents, he was visibly surprised to see the bathroom empty.
Andrea Bass, who police said worked as a massage therapist from home, denied locking up her stepdaughter, but said the girl had not eaten or participated with the family for the past three months, according to the documents. She said her husband boarded the bathroom window in order to keep the girl from escaping.
Andrea Bass told police she has a history with Child Protective Services, being involved in 15 previous reports, possibly in other states. She did not give police details, but the documents reported that California CPS had previously removed children from the family because of an alleged exorcism of a child.
It's a miracle she had enough energy for her escape!
14yo Abuse Victim Safely in Protective Care
Updated: Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010, 6:29 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010, 6:29 PM MST
PHOENIX -- A 14-year-old girl who was kept locked inside a dilapidated bathroom for nearly two months is safely in protective custody, while her father sits in a jail cell.
New details are emerging about the teen's family, the day after MyFOXPhoenix broke the story .
The 14-year-old is one of five kids in the fanatically religious household, but police say she was the only one who was treated so horribly.
"She's a very bright young lady. Spoke very intelligently. Gave our detectives very detailed information that helped them and confirmed exactly what was going on," says Phoenix Police Officer Luis Samudio.
Scott Bass, 33, still sits in jail on $45,000 bond. His wife, and the victim's stepmother Angela Bass, was released Tuesday after posting $36,000 bond. The judge set Scott's bond much higher.
Scott Bass apparently made numerous comments to police about his religious beliefs. The rest of the family was actually in church when the teenage girl was able to escape through a crawl space.
The rest of the kids, ranging in age from 3 to 14 years old, have been placed in CPS custody.
I wonder what the church thinks about these "parents".
This feels like a rerun of the Jeanette Maples case here in Oregon. Oldest child singled out. Family deeply religious. Home-schooling. Starvation. Isolation. Multiple CPS reports.
I think once children get to a certain developmental stage, they refuse to take it anymore. They close off and it becomes me vs. them. This is a natural survival mechanism and probably foretells good things about this young lady's ability to heal.
Well, if the step-mom is indeed, done with the child, so be it. Sign right here. I only hope she says those same words to the judge and repeats them forcefully so this girl isn't drug through years of attempted reunification attempts.
Fourteen is an interesting age. We've found that it's at the very top end of salvageabilty of self-esteem and attachment and empathy. This teen can make it with intensive therapy and a loving foster home who understands trauma of this depth. I know it must get tiring to hear me say it but food is the most powerful torture instrument ever known.
One successful tactic we've used in cases like this are our animals. There is nothing more healing than the love of a dog or a cat. Our dogs should have earned their "medals of honor" by now. Many times, a hurting child will bond with them long before they trust humans. We've raised a little girl who was tortured with the withholding of food. It is so cathartic for her to feed and care for animals and to help in the kitchen. She's totally in charge of feeding a very disabled dog and the process of healing has been remarkable to watch. It's almost like watching her role play "getting it right for herself". It's a long haul but this might end well. I'm so pleased the other children were removed. They've been abused by proxy, if nothing else.
Blessings to this young girl.
This girl has been on my mind all day. I pray that tonight she's safe, warm, clean, comfy, and has a bellyful of food.
Such an enterprising young lady, to get out, ride her bike, get some money, buy clothes, food, etc.
I hope she's in a good home, and will get all her needs met. Hope she gets a good big dose of love and affection and some fun times too.
This story is bothering me terribly as it seems to replay over and over. Bean, I wish I could tell you that she'll be fine but I can't. We can all be assured that she's warm, dry, clean, and fed tonight. That's a huge step in the right direction but that doesn't heal the spirit. One thing that so many people can't grasp unless they've lived it is that it's highly probable that this little girl will miss her family (yes, even Mom and Dad) terribly. She'll need very delicate handling. I just pray that she landed in the arms of a very experienced foster family who knows how to help with this type of spirit-breaking torture. There's no getting around the fact that she's been terribly damaged but children can really astound us with their resilience.
I wondered about the religious fanaticism and have done some research. I can't find a church affiliation in Phoenix. It looks like this family once lived in the Independence, MO area, though. If you follow the Mohler thread as closely as I do, that alone would give you pause. They also show up in Knob Noster, MO. That's right in the middle of RLDS and Community of Christ territory. I am not wanting to be disrespectful of these faiths and churches but there sure seems to be a lot of "stories" coming out of this area concerning abuse. It could be a coincidence....or not.
Maybe someone else can find out more if they look in that direction.
Last edited by Nyla4; 02-11-2010 at 12:19 AM.
God Bless the elderly couple who gave her the money and the folks who called police.
Massage therapist from home? Can you imagine getting a massage from this witch while a child is locked in the bathroom unfed.
Punished for stealing food? Excellent. Poor kid was starved. People are just nuts. That father deserves to be locked up unfed. He's her father. He's supposed to protect her. I guess the wicked witch he slept with was more important.
This little girl is my hero. She's going to go far in life. I know it.
I'm having a hard time with the home-based massage therapy and the religious zealotry. Do we usually see these two things showing up in the very same home? I'd really like to know what church this family attended. I also wonder what the pastor would say about all this.
sounds to me like she is smarter than both evil parents
About the time we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. Herbert Hoover
My heart goes out to this poor girl, and I admire her ingenuity and bravery in breaking free and telling her story. Kudos to the barista who reported these wastes of breath!
A couple of new bits of info. This article contains more information on the other children in the home. The girl was the father's child as was a boy. The others were children of the arrested couple.
I'm also very perplexed by the 50 year old couple. I find that very odd. Who would give a frightened and filthy child $50 and not call LE and stay with her until they arrived? I can see them buying her dinner as they waited but just giving her money? And the riding of the bike 13 miles? Was this sheer adrenaline? I haven't done the math, but I'm thinking she must have been quite tiny and and weak--even after some food. 13 miles is a long way to bike. She was forced to exercise, however and maybe she's strong. She obviously wanted out of that horror pit!!
It rattles my brain to read that the step-mom didn't even "know she was there". "So, honey have you noticed some odd sounds coming from the hall bath? I tried to check in there but the doors jammed." Right.
"The girl had escaped through the attic and rode her bike to a nearby movie theater, where a concerned couple gave her $50, police said. She then rode about 13 miles to a Phoenix strip mall and bought water, food, a backpack and clothes because she hadn't been allowed to change for weeks, Samudio said.
After that, the girl rode to a coffee shop in Scottsdale, where she asked an employee to call police."
Samudio said the girl and her 12-year-old brother were from Scott Bass' previous marriage, and that three girls — ages 3, 4 and 11 — were Scott and Andrea Bass' children.
~respectfully snipped and bolded by me ~
And I also send blessings to this young woman. I hope she never has to go through such an ordeal again, that she is clean, warm, fed, and loved for the rest of her life.
Last edited by Salem; 02-11-2010 at 11:26 PM.
Maybe at first she was considering going back?
Just tell whatever story she had to to get food and some clean clothes. She likely wasn't thinking too clearly. Then after her bike ride, when she had clean stuff and something in her stomach, she felt better, her head cleared and she decided she couldn't go back...which was true, they likely would have killed her if she tried.
It's likely that they told her all terrible things would happen if she ended up with the state. She's at an age where words are powerful weapons. She could have been just as scared of going to foster care as she was of going back to hell, I mean home.
Poor kid. It seems from out here that all the bad stuff is over, but now she has to address all of it. She has to shine a light on it. That is almost as hard as living it. She's halfway there.
JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.
I want to hear CPS's story here. How could they have been called 13 or 15 times and done nothing to help this child. Who called them (not that it should matter)?
I hope this girl has a really loving grandmother somewhere that will come get her and keep her forever.
Is anyone local so they can give us some sort of idea of where this child went. Did she really need to travel 13 miles to get help or was it pure adrenaline--get as far away as fast as possible.
ITA, not_my_kids, that she could have been considering returning--but clean. I don't think anyone can possibly get into the head of a frightened and terrorized child. They are not going to react totally logically. As I said before, so many people don't realize that even horribly abused children love and trust their parents. They will pine for them, beg to go back, blame themselves for the punishment. It's awful to watch as you wish you could "talk sense into them". That's not possible, though, as you are dealing with a developing child's immature brain and they are imprinted to love and trust their parents. Look at how many battered women return home to more abuse, blaming themselves.
And Salem, PM me if you're interested in our "method". It is truly amazing and has worked with two kids. It's also worked with attachment issues to a huge degree. Animals are miracle workers!!
Also, if someone learns the name or denomination of the church this family attended, can you please post. I'd be really interested. Thanks.
i suffered thru some horrible emotional and mental abuse for years from my grandmother. when i'd tell my grandfather or mom i was told quite frankly that i was overeacting.......then years after my grandma died i finally told my mom how bad it had always been, and she said 'i didnt know it was that bad, she used to do the smame thing to me and my sisters'. awesome.
i think some of these abused kids, even if they have someone to tell, dont feel they will be believed. after awhile i just gave up and sat back and took it........