Columbus woman accused of sodomizing relative

Columbus woman accused of sodomizing relative

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus woman is accused of performing a sex act on a close family member who is mentally disabled.

Deborah Starks, 59, was arrested recently by the Columbus Police Department. She is charged with sodomy and victimization to intimidate, as well as threatening a person with a disability.

The victim is a 36-year-old woman who suffers with cerebral palsy in addition to mental and physical challenges while having the mind of a 9-year-old child, according to the police report.

The case came to light last week when police arrested Starks following an investigation into the allegations.

"All of our sodomy cases are disheartening but I will say I believe the detectives who worked on the case did an outstanding job, they had a lot of compassion for this one," said Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick of Youth Services at CPD.

A friend with close ties to the family said he noticed changes in the victim's behavior. He claimed she started staying in her room a lot and would only come out when it was time for her to go to school.

Despite her challenges, the victim can walk and talk and was able to communicate what allegedly happened to her.

Lt. Dent-Fitzpatrick could not go into details about the alleged abuse.

Starks appeared in court last week and was ordered held in a $50,000 bond. The case was bound over to Superior Court.

Police tell us the victim is in a safe place.

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