Teen locked in chicken coop shares foster home history

Teen locked in chicken coop shares foster home history

BUTLER, GA (WTVM) - New details emerged during a Taylor County trial on Thursday about the 18-year-old victim who alleges her adoptive parents locked her in a chicken coop, sometimes up to seven days without food or water.

The victim, who has been in foster care since 4 years old, says she has lived in more than five foster homes before living with the Franklins.

She testified that she was taken from her parents because of neglect and that her childhood of bouncing from foster home to foster home included other stories of abuse.

"Do you recall telling anybody in foster care you were locked in a room and had to use a trash can to go to the bathroom?"

"Yes sir," said the victim, who admitted to having other investigations.

With his clients Diana and Samuel Franklin facing multiple counts of child cruelty and false imprisonment, the defense attorney tried to allude to their innocence by highlighting the victim's violent behavior.

"You told him you were going to cut him up with a knife while he slept didn't you?" he asked.

The victim recalled the precise date "that was on January 1, 2007."

Other incidents of the victim spitting in her adoptive mother's face, cursing at her and stealing from her were all rebutted with "I did it because she did it first."

The victim's therapist took the stand as an expert witness, saying her client has suffered not only physically but also emotionally.

"Her primary diagnosis is post-traumatic stress disorder but she also suffers with depression and anxiety," says Lynn Suggs, who says she treated the victim 10 times in person and five times by phone.

Suggs also indicated the abuse that many ignored, which was the intentional lack of medical treatment. Suggs said when the victim was first placed in the defendants' care she was seeing a therapist and was prescribed medication.

The defendant intentionally stopped taking her to the therapist and took her medicine away from her, something Suggs said may have contributed to the victim's behavior.

Defense wrapped up with a screenshot of a Facebook page as evidence claiming the victim was promoting a book she's writing filled with details of her alleged abuse.

"I'm going to tell the world my story," said the victim.

The judge says this trial, which addresses charges brought against the victim's adoptive mother, is expected to last through next week.

The trial for the victim's adoptive father will start in December.

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