15 YEAR OLD GIRL LOCKED IN BASEMENT FOR 6 YEARS, FORCED TO DRINK URINE AND EAT FECES TO SURVIVE – JOSHUA DRABEK – SENTENCE WILL NOT GO UNPROTESTED – SPEAKING WITH MIKE VEGA, THE MAN WHO SAVED THIS YOUNG LADY – UPDATED 03.02.2014 – CCA0033
15-YEAR OLD GIRL LOCKED IN BASEMENT FOR 6 YEARS, FORCED TO DRINK URINE AND EAT FECES TO SURVIVE
JOSHUA DRABEK – SENTENCE WILL NOT GO UNPROTESTED – SPEAKING WITH MIKE VEGA, THE MAN WHO SAVED THIS YOUNG LADY
The entire nightmare created by Chad Chritton, Melinda Drabek-Chritton and Joshua Drabek has not yet come to an end. As you all know, we have a judge that doesn’t believe what these monsters did was all that bad – how else can you explain their slap on the wrist sentences, not to mention the danger she is putting more innocent children in when Joshua Drabek is released, free to rape, molest and beat little girls yet again.
This situation calls for aggressive advocacy, citizens pulling together to stand up and say that this is not okay. That we will not allow this to fade away. Leading this charge is Mike Vega, the man who found the young lady walking down the road and called law enforcement, removing her from her hell.
Please stay tuned as we will be releasing an article speaking with Mike and getting his story out there. He has taken further action to help this girl and others, and his work and passion are two things I am excited to share with you. We will give you all the information surrounding the new campaigns Mike has taken up for this young lady and give you everything you need to know about what you can do to support him and really get behind promoting what he is done. I promise you all, he fits right in with us, and together we can achieve great things.
UPDATE February 26.2014
JOSHUA DRABEK SENTENCED
Joshua Drabek is a complete waste of skin. He is disgusting and dangerous. He is a sexual predator that clearly will not stop creating more victims. Three sexual assault cases before he was 18 – am I the only one that is bothered by this? Apparently Judge Julie Genovese is not bothered by this at all. Today she sentenced this monster to 3 years in prison for the sexual assault of his stepsister, and 2 years in prison for the previous convictions of sexual assault against another girl. 5 YEARS. Before sentencing, Drabek asked Genovese to give him a chance to get counseling and treatment and to move forward with his life. Genovese then stated she didn’t “feel” that the 30 year prison sentence Assistant DA Matthew Moeser proposed “made sense” before sentencing Drabek to a total of 5 years in prison.
You know this is where I get mad – this judge is also now victimizing these girls further herself by not attaching any value to the effect this monster has had on their lives. How can we obtain justice when judges are slapping predators who are an imminent threat to slaps on the wrist. If it were her daughter that was beat and raped by Drabek, would she feel 3 years or 2 years would “make sense” still??? I have asked this before and will ask it again – in fact watch for the hot topic piece I will soon be publishing surrounding this very question. Would those who believe predators that sexually abuse children can receive ‘treatment’ or ‘rehabilitation’ trust their toddlers and young children alone with the “rehabilitated offenders”?? It’s funny when you ask them this question how quiet they become. If they wouldn’t allow their children to be alone with these people, then why are they saying it is ok for these monsters to be around my children? As I said, keep tuned in for the article surrounding rehabilitation to be released.
Drabek’s stepsister is now 17, and the scars, both mentally and physically, remain highly visible. At 17 she is attending school, normal for a teenage girl right? Due to the abuse and neglect which meant she was not allowed to go to school, she missed years of gaining the education she deserved and had a right to. Now she is the only 17 year old girl in her 7th grade class. At a tiny 4’10”, Dr. Barbara Knox – a child abuse specialist – has stated that the young lady will never grow taller due to her prolonged undernourishment. To say that her abuse is over would be wrong. Just stop for a moment and think of all she has to face after enduring such horrific abuse, of all the moments in her life that will be altered as a result. It’s tragic and reality, and we need to start doing a better job at speaking out for these children who do not have a choice.
The young lady is doing well, especially considering the obstacles she has faced in her recovery and her journey to go from a victim of child abuse, to a survivor of child abuse. I hope each day will put her farther away from her past and make her more excited for the future. I wish the abuse never occurred, but it did, so I wish for to have access to all the resources she needs to help herself heal in a positive manner, rather than resorting to self hatred and a life of emotional turmoil.
As for Drabek – well he hasn’t heard the last from us. I will follow his sentence and when it comes time to release him from jail, my voice will be the first he hears. I will not let this monster hide, I will not let him have the opportunity to harm another young girl.
A 15-year old Wisconsin girl was found walking barefoot several blocks from her home in pajamas on February 6, 2012. When the police arrived and began talking to the extremely malnourished girl, weighing only 68 pounds, a tragic tale of the horrific torture she was forced to endure began to unravel. Since 2006, the girl was locked in her basement by her father, Chad Chritton, 40 and her step-mother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 42, being forced to drink her own urine and eat her own feces to survive. The girl was suffering from such severe malnutrition that she had not yet even reached puberty, and suffered what a physician specializing in child abuse described as “serial torture with prolonged exposure to definite starvation”. When the girl was brought to the hospital, Doctors stated she was still in critical danger of dying and may not pull through as she went through “re-feeding syndrome”, a condition where her body rejects the introduction of food after a long period of starvation. They also stated that because of the starvation and severe malnutrition, the girl is at high risk for other disorders and complications that could lead to death. Thankfully, she once again showed her ability to fight to survive and pulled through, managing to gain 26 pounds in the first couple weeks of her recovery.
The family lived in a new construction ‘Habitat for Humanity’ home for which Drabek-Chritton obtained by claiming to be a single mother of two boys. However, Drabek-Chritton only has one son living with her, 18-year old Joshua Drabek. When Chritton and Drabek-Chritton were arrested, Joshua was also arrested on a probation violation stemming from a 2011 case of sexual assault against a 13 year-old girl, and was charged with sexually assaulting a child, the child being his stepsister. When Habitat For Humanity was contacted, they stated that there was never any mention of a daughter on their application. Living in the home were Chritton, Drabek-Chritton, Drabek and two younger children. They all resided upstairs while the girl was locked in the basement. The two younger children were placed into protective custody.
According to the girl, if she attempted to go upstairs, an alarm would sound. She was forced to survive by eating things off the floor, finding things in the laundry room, and occasionally, rummaging through the garbage. The basement where the girl was kept has no bathroom. How she managed to survive is beyond me, she definitely has the soul of a survivor to have made it through these 6 years. When the girl was recovered by law enforcement, she told them she was attempting to flee the home after Drabek-Chritton threatened to throw her down the stairs and hurt or kill her after she failed to clean fast enough during a brief time when she was allowed upstairs. She was fleeing the home afraid for her life.
This was not the family’s first contact with law enforcement for abuse of the girl. In 2007, the police responded to a call that the girl may have been molested by a family member, which we now know was her stepbrother, Joshua Drabek. However the girl did not corroborate the allegation during the investigation and she appeared healthy at the time. I am sure that the threat of what would happen to her if she admitted that she was being abused was so great that she would have danced upside down on her head to make authorities believe that nothing was wrong. Over the next few years while the girl was held prisoner, physically, mentally and emotionally, neighbors contacted CPS on numerous occasions but were not sure if any action was ever taken. A man who lived next door to the girl witnessed her bring out the garbage, rummaging through it and then hiding to eat what she had found on numerous occasions, at which times he did call CPS. Another neighbor has stated that her mother had called CPS not long ago after witnessing Melinda Drabek-Chritton verbally abusing and berating the girl. Again, the actions taken, which appear to be none, as a result of the complaints are unknown. CPS has thus far declined to comment on the situation specifically and will only say that nothing can be confirmed due to privacy laws. However, what is clear, is that in the years were the abuse was being reported, CPS failed to save this girl.
When questioned by police, Drabek-Chritton stated the girl was not in school because she was being home schooled. Chritton attempted to explain away the girl’s physical condition with medical explanations. The more he talked, the more evil and pathetic he got, if that is possible. He began pointing the finger at the 15 year old girl herself, stating that she has mental problems and has been unstable all her life. He makes it sound like she was out terrorizing the family and he was just coping the best he could. Chritton and Drabek-Chritton both claim they had taken the young woman to many mental health clinics in search for help over the past 6 years but were not offered any assistance. Every time something new comes forward in this case I think I can’t get any madder by what has happened, this though, takes it all. Never in my life would I have imagined that someone could blame the victim for her own starvation, physical abuse, sexual abuse and mental abuse. I cannot believe that there is a lawyer out there that supports this being his sadistic client’s reason for the situation that unfolded, even after doctor’s specializing in child abuse diagnosed the girl being a victim of “serial child torture”. This lawyer actually hinted towards the girl acting out in anger towards the abandonment of her biological mother. REALLY??
Now Drabek-Chritton’s lawyer added a little more stupidity to these claims by stating that he wants the court to review the evidence that his client is having kidney problems and her medical needs are not being attended to properly in prison. HAH – rest assured if there even is a problem, she is getting more medical attention in the past few years than this young girl received throughout her entire life. Lawyers even went so far as to ask the court to issue an order to have the victim undergo a psychological examination. Uhhh … OF COURSE SHE HAS PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS NOW!!!! She was starved, tortured, beaten, and sexually abused, all while being held captive in a basement where her own father and his wife forced her to drink her own urine and eat her own feces for 6 years! Dear good god, the fact that she can even string together a coherent sentence anymore is a miracle to me.
Initially Chritton and Drabek-Chritton were arrested on suspicion of child abuse and neglect and held at Dane County Jail on $20,000.00 bail. More charges were filed later, including causing mental harm to a child, and child neglect resulting in bodily harm. Chritton and Drabek-Chritton both entered pleas of not guilty. Joshua Drabek was charged with sexual assault and child abuse.
February 26, 2013, the trial of Chad Chritton began. Prosecutors opened the case with the following statement “You are going to hear about a child that was isolated, starved, abused, maltreated and then had the courage on February 6 of 2012 to run away.” Defense lawyers responded by saying that the victim was a girl with a history of mental and behavioral problems and that Chritton is a learning disabled man who didn’t understand how – but was trying – to help his daughter, even though he feared for his and other family members’ safety. He also claimed that the tiny 68 pound girl threatened to kill him causing him to fear for his life.
Another side to this case that has not been discussed much at all, is in fact the girl’s biological mother. On the third day of Chritton’s trial, his ex-wife, the girl’s mother, Heidi Pease, testified that she was devastated that she sent her daughter to live with Chritton. Pease stated that she had voluntarily given Chritton custody because she felt that he was a good father. When the couple divorced, Chritton moved to Madison while the victim and her mother stayed in Texas. Pease did re-marry and claims that her new husband became abusive. She says she knew she had to keep her daughter safe, and felt the best place for her to be safe at that time, was with her father. She had no idea what this man was capable of. She also testified that on a rare phone call with her daughter, the girl said that Joshua had told her Pease died in a plane crash on her way to visit. The young woman was hysterical when she learned that her mother was still alive. The sad part of this, is that telling this young woman that her mother has died was not the cruelest mental abuse she suffered through.
Later on in the trial, Chritton’s own father took the stand. He talked about the time that his granddaughter lived with him when she was 10 years old, stating she was a normal child, with no mental or behavioral problems.
Then the young woman took the stand herself. In a courageous effort she told the story of the nightmare she had been living for the past 6 years. She laid out everything in detail, including being forced to sleep on a moldy mattress. She described the sexual acts her stepbrother would allegedly force her to do and the kind of physical and mental abuse she endured at the hands of her father. She talked about living in constant fear. The girl had stated to authorities that when she was caught eating food, her father and step-mother would take the food from her and then force her to vomit what she had already eaten. In a taped police interview, the tiny girl sits, dabbing her eyes and speaking softly to detectives about the abuse and torture she endured, even breaking down at one point saying “I’ve just had it.”
When the trial finally went to the jury 3 weeks after it began, it took them 19 hours over 2 days to come back with a verdict, and it was not a verdict that reflects justice for the young lady that had her innocence stolen from her. Chad Chritton was convicted of felony child neglect, and then shockingly was acquitted of one count of misdemeanor child neglect. The jury declared they were deadlocked on four other felony charges including first-degree reckless endangerment, child abuse, false imprisonment and causing mental harm to a child.
Chritton’s sentencing is something that will not come quickly. His sentencing will not be set until after Drabek-Chritton and Drabek are tried, and after Chritton is retried, so folks, that means we could be looking at a possible year until Chritton is sentenced, and let’s not forget what sentence he is facing. On his current conviction of one charge, he can be sentenced to 3 years in prison and 3 years of extended supervision. That’s right – half the amount of time that he kept his daughter imprisoned while torturing her in every way he could imagine. Excuse me while I go puke. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has stated that prosecutors are preparing to retry Chritton on the four deadlocked charges. Chritton’s lawyer, William Hayes, has asked to be allowed to be withdrawn from the case which he says has cost him significant financial difficulties. Chritton’s retrial is scheduled for November of 2013.
In early April of 2013, Melinda Drabek-Chritton forwent her right to a jury trial and instead signed a plea agreement, pleading no contest to two felony counts of reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child. Four other charges were dismissed, however they can be considered by the judge at Drabek-Chritton’s sentencing. Each conviction carries a sentence of up to 12 ½ years of combined prison and extended supervision time. Although she pled no contest, Drabek-Chritton continued to blame the victim, claiming the girl is the one responsible for her injuries and starvation. Drabek-Chritton was sentenced to 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of extended supervision. I can’t begin to express my disgust and horror at this sentence. I am so angry I am speechless, and we all know that never happens, I’ve always got something to say. This disgusting pig won’t ever be sentenced to endure a punishment that will gain justice for the young woman whose life she attempted to destroy. I can only hope that the knowledge that she was not able to break that young woman’s spirit regardless of the horrendous atrocities she committed upon the girl, will haunt Drabek-Chritton every day for the rest of her useless life.
In July of 2013, Joshua Drabek pled guilty to 4 counts of sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl, while four other charges were in turn dropped. Drabek was released on signature bond pending sentencing, which is set to happen in October of 2013. This is the second of 3 sexual assault cases against Drabek. The first case was for the sexual assault of a 13 year-old girl Drabek claimed to be dating in 2011. Now he is waiting to go to trial for the starvation, neglect and repeated sexual abuse of his stepsister over the course of time in which she was kept prisoner in the family’s basement.
On another note, we would like to extend our gratitude to Mike Vega, the man who essentially, saved this girl’s life. He was the man who saw her walking down the road, clad in only pajamas with bare feet. She was clearly shaken and needed help. He pulled over and had the girl wait in his car while he called law enforcement and emergency responders to aid the girl. Mr. Vega, all too often in this world people are becoming desensitized to the horrific abuse faced by children, and are tending to look the other way. They all seem to say they don’t want to pry into other’s business and I have to ask myself, how many people saw this young woman in grave danger and continued to pass her by. Your concern, common sense, empathy and kindness is not going unnoticed. Without you, this world would have suffered a great loss when the flame of this girl’s life was extinguished, with no one around to notice. You sir, noticed, and in doing so, you gave this girl hope, something that the average person takes for granted on a daily basis. In her dark terrifying world filled with sorrow and pain, you were the light she followed to keep her sanity and save her life. You are a true hero.
I am sure it is no easy task for this young girl to begin processing what happened to her and start forming a future for herself, free of abuse and terror. However, in the strength she shows testifying against the very people that nearly killed her, she illuminates promise, and hope, showing that her fighting spirit will allow her to come out on top. She has shown her father, stepmother and stepbrother, that they did not, could not, and will not break her. And she showed them that no matter what may have happened, and how sadistic her abuse may have been, that she still holds the power to control her own fate and destiny.
UPDATE ~ 11.12.2013
Right on schedule, the jury selection for Chad Chritton’s second trial began this past Monday. The 5 charges which the first jury were deadlocked on and the new jury will now hear, are false imprisonment, causing mental harm, reckless endangerment, felony child abuse and felony child neglect. The trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
UPDATE ~ 11.21.2013
Yesterday Chad Chritton took the stand to testify in his defense. This is the first time he has done so, as he did not take the stand in his first trial. Watching this idiot and listening to what he says, leaves no wonder as to why he didn’t testify earlier.
When Chritton was being questioned by his attorney, he was soft spoken, often tearing up. He claimed that he had done everything he could to help his daughter, but the system failed him. His demeanor did a complete 180 on cross-examination. Chritton became angry and would shout at the prosecutor as he became increasingly self righteous. He attempted to place all of the blame for his daughter’s abuse and neglect on Dane County Human Services. “What did Dane County do other than let us fail?” he yelled.
Chritton also provided several ‘explanations’ for the condition in which his daughter was kept. He claimed that the girl had learning difficulties and when she came to live with him after being with her mother, her behavior changed and became more aggressive. He said he would find knives stashed in her bed and that she would threaten the family. As to why the girl was kept in the basement – well Joshua Drabek, her stepbrother, was charged with a juvenile sex offense, so she was moved to the basement to get her away from Drabek. ( ??? – Really? WTF? ) He stated that an alarm was placed on the door as a result of the girl’s behavior. (You guys still with me?) Chritton went even further and claimed that a court order related to Drabek’s case mandated that the girl MUST live in the basement, however he sure seemed to avoid answering questions about that later. He then went on to discuss ‘security measures’, that is the cameras, motion detectors, boards over the basement windows and a lock on the basement door. Chritton also said the girl had control over the lock (why a lock at all then?).
This young lady was doomed from the very start with Chritton as her father. Nothing good ever came from that sad excuse for a man. The truth is, Dane County Human Services DID in fact attempt to help the family, but was rebuffed by Chritton. In 2007, the young girl was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and spent a month in the hospital. While there, the girl shared that she had been sexually assaulted by Drabek, so she was then sent to live with Chritton’s father for the summer. Miraculously enough she didn’t torture her grandfather as Chritton claims she tortured him. After the girl came forward about the sexual abuse, Chritton REFUSED to allow Dane County Human Services to interview the girl, stating he wanted to get a “clear statement” from her when she was away from the potential interference of the abuser’s mother, Drabek-Chritton, otherwise known as his wife.
It was about at this point that the downward spiral took on warp speed. When the young girl returned from her grandfather’s, Chritton decided to ‘educate’ her at home rather than send her to school. At one point he admits “I was an absolute failure” – uhh, you think?? He says the girl continued to have issues and blamed them on alleged sexual abuse by her stepfather (didn’t the girl say it was Drabek, did Chritton mishear her?). Social workers had actually recommended that the girl receive medical intervention, but Chritton used the excuse that his erratic hours of truck driving left him unable to take her to appointments.
Chritton stated that his daughter was given plenty to eat at home, but she would refuse food and chose to eat off the floor and from trash cans. As for her bathroom habits, well those as well were her choice as she refused to use the bathrooms she had access to, according to Chritton. When asked about the girl’s weight, Chritton simply stated that he didn’t notice she was losing weight. Keeping with a deflect the blame mentality, Chritton claimed that he never physically abused his daughter, nor called her any names. When asked how much longer he would have kept his daughter living the way she was, he says “I wish I could answer that.” The case is suspected to be handed to the jury before the weekend, and with a performance like that, I’m pretty sure they will come to a verdict fairly quickly. Guess we’ll have to stay tuned and see.
UPDATE November 23, 2013
This case has gone on for far too long, and finally we have reached the point where we are almost able to close the book, only thing left now, is sentencing.
The jury in Chritton’s second trial deliberated for 21 hours before delivering their verdict.
Chad Chritton was found guilty of second degree reckless endangerment, child abuse and causing mental harm to a child, all felonies. The only charge is which he was acquitted was the charge of false imprisonment.
Based on his convictions, Chritton is looking at facing up to 34 ½ years of combined prison time and extended supervision. Sentencing is expected to be held in about two months, and until then, Chritton will remain in jail.
UPDATE January 30, 2014
CHAD CHRITTON SENTENCED
Chad Chritton was sentenced to 5 years in prison last week. Chritton made a lengthy statement saying “I’m not the monster that the DA and the press made me out to be.” Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese stated that beyond the repercussions Chritton has endured after his arrest and convictions – the loss of his house, two sons taken away and a very public criminal case – she did not believe he deserved further punishment for the four criminal convictions he received from two juries. She continued on saying that the crimes were so serious that he should receive the same punishment she gave last year to Melinda Drabek-Chritton, as not doing so “would not send the right message.”
UPDATE: February 22, 2014
JOSHUA DRABEK CONVICTED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
There have been many times where it seemed that this nightmare of abuse on this now young lady would never end. Years have passed since that cold winter morning when the young lady managed her escape from the torture chamber she was calling home. Since that day, this young lady has shown a strength that is rare to find. By the time her stepbrother, Joshua Drabek, went to trial for sexually assaulting the young lady, she had relived every moment of horror to police and prosecutors, going over the details repeatedly. She had already taken the stand TWICE and had the courage to testify against her father and stepmother, finally calling them out on the abuse they forced her to endure and showing them that they did not break her. The only trial left was that of Drabek’s, and its day has come.
As the trial of sexual assault began against Drabek, a shocked courtroom listened as the young lady took the stand and spoke of the abuse she endured at the hands of her stepbrother. She talked of how he would beat her with a piece of metal, how he had dragged her from a hiding place in the basement creating a large gash on her stomach – the scars of which will never go away. She spoke of the sexual abuse she endured from the age of 9. The young lady told the court that the first time Drabek attempted to rape her, a younger half brother walked into the room, causing Drabek to stop his assault. Innocent and reaching out for help, the girl spoke out to her father and stepmother, telling them of the abuse. At a time when she should have felt that her father especially would keep her safe – she was instead told that no one believed her and leaving her feeling as though “I wasn’t trustworthy anymore.” With no repercussions looming, Drabek was free to abuse the young lady at will. The next time after the girl spoke out against Drabek, Drabek forced her to perform a sex act on him – and this time, she said nothing, afraid that she would get in trouble. Erik Nielsen, a Dane County DHS social worker assigned to supervise Drabek after previous convictions, testified at Drabek’s trial, saying that Drabek admitted to trying to break into the basement of the home, where the girl was kept, in order to “do something sexual with her”.
This young lady was not Drabek’s first victim, in fact she wasn’t even his second. By the time Drabek was 18 years old he had victimized three girls, well, at least the three that we know about. In 2007, at 13, he was found delinquent of sexually assaulting another relative who was also 13 at the time. He received a deferred sentence in 2011 for sexual assault of a child, which was then revoked in 2012 resulting in Drabek receiving a 15 month time-served sentence. Fast forward to 2010, Drabek was charged with sexually assaulting another girl, and plead guilty to the charges. He has yet to be sentenced in that case. I have to ask – how many innocent little girls need to be raped and assaulted before Drabek is locked away with no chance of ever hurting another child again? When will we draw the line and say that this monster is an imminent threat to children around him and take the necessary actions to prevent him from having yet another victim. By 18 this piece of trash was a repeat sexual offender – a violent repeat sexual offender. I don’t know about the rest of you – but I don’t want to see the damage he will do in the next 18 years if he is allowed to walk free.
As in similar cases, the defense attempted to accuse the young lady of making false claims and alleged that she had recanted her story to a grandmother, and the prosecution was ready for them. Dr. Annie Salter, a child sexual abuse expert, cited studies which show that very rarely does a child make false accusations about sexual abuse. The studies go further to show that children recanting their claims of abuse is common when the abuse did actually in fact occur. These children are scared, have already been told they were lying, and are being told they are bad and getting the family in trouble. Imagine being under all that pressure as a child, imagine being alienated for asking for help. These children are placed in a position then where they feel they are getting those they love in trouble, and will do anything to stop the chaos and turmoil – even if it means saying they lied when they know they were absolutely, without question abused.
When the case was handed to the jurors they spent 11 hours to reach a verdict.
First Degree Child Sexual Assault: GUILTY
Second Degree Child Sexual Assault: GUILTY
Child Abuse: GUILTY
Drabek’s sentencing is set for Wednesday the 26th where he will not only be sentenced for the abuse of his stepsister, but also for the sexual assault of the girl from 2010. Drabek’s convictions, the ones regarding his stepsister and the other girl, have a combined maximum sentence of 93 years in prison and 53 years of extended supervision. We will keep you all posted as the sentence is handed down.