"For weeks, the three wives of Mansa Musa Muhummed and most of their 19 children have been telling a jury countless stories of torture and starvation that they kept to themselves for years. 'It is the worst case we've ever heard of,' prosecutor Julie Baldwin said last week.
The alleged atrocities went undetected by social service agencies, and police now have Muhummed, 55, facing up to seven life sentences if convicted of a raft of abuse charges. [snip]
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of torturing seven of the children, abusing 12 of them and falsely imprisoning two wives. The trial delays may have hurt his case because his children — once reluctant to talk to authorities — are now telling strangers of extreme deprivation, physical abuse and starvation.
Standing just 4-foot-6 and weighing about 98 pounds, Sharon Boddie, 27, told jurors last week that she had grown and gained weight since her father was arrested nine years ago and the children were sent to foster or group homes. But she still has scars from beatings and burns. She said she was taken out of school in second grade because she kept running away and teachers no longer wanted her there because she stole other children's lunches. [snip]
Doctors said the children were extremely malnourished. A 19-year-old daughter was 4-foot-1 and weighed 56 pounds. After moving to rural Riverside County, they lived for about three years in a van at a Muslim campground, Sharon Boddie testified. The van had no running water or gas for cooking. Baldwin said Muhummed had no known occupation.
(...) The brothers and sisters have said they were denied use of a bathroom and could not bathe for weeks at a time or wash their clothes. Sometimes, Boddie took them in the yard and hosed them down"
(...) Los hermanos y hermanas han dicho que se les negó el uso del baño y no podía bañarse durante semanas o lavar sus ropas.