KGUN 9News


Daughter was scared to leave, all she had

Posted at 7:20 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 21:20:30-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Three young girls say their mother and stepfather kept them captive in deplorable conditions for about two years.
The girl was thirteen at the time and we referred to her as B.A.
Thursday marks day four of the Sophia and Fernando Richter child imprisonment trial.
The youngest and oldest daughter took the stand.
The youngest daughter is now 14-years-old.  We've been asked to use just her initials instead of her full name for her protection.
She will be referred to as A.A. in this story.
Sophia Richter immediately began sobbing and shaking as her youngest daughter took the stand.
A.A.'s voice was quiet and timid in the beginning, but she quickly opened up about her life with her mom and stepfather.
She described her small room she and her sister were not allowed to leave.
She says they were monitored with a camera and would signal when they needed to go to the bathroom.
If they had to wait too long, A.A. says she would go on her clothes to hide it.
She also says they were allowed to shower about once a month and their clothes were washed about once a year.
If any of the rules were broken, A.A. says they were beaten with a spoon, belt or stick.
Finally, one night her eldest sister urged her to escape and they ran to a neighbor's house.
When asked why she never ran away before, she said ,"he told us that if we ever run away he would find us and bad stuff would happen. Fernando even told me to my face that he would kill me the first chance he got. I was scared to leave. At the time, they were all I had. Living with something for so long you just get used to it."
The oldest sister, who we will refer to as M.P., testified later in the day.

M.P., who is now 19-years-old, returned to the stand and made it through her testimony, only choking up a few times. 

She said she was separated from her other sisters and kept alone in a bedroom. 

The prosecution displayed pictures showing a huge speaker by M.P.'s bed. M.P. said the radio was on full volume "24/7" so she could not hear what was happening in the rest of the house. When she would get in trouble, M.P. said her mom would turn the radio to static as punishment. 

The teenager said she never got to talk to anyone. She said she would see her mom when she came in twice a day to feed her, but her mom would not talk to her. 

M.P. was also the only child who said she would refuse to eat all of the food given to her. She described the mixture of noodles and other random items, including the fat off Sophia and Fernando's steaks, as "gagging nasty."
M.P. had a makeshift calendar so she could keep track of the days and know the exact day she turned 18, because she knew that is when she could leave. She also marked the calendar with symbols to denote the last time she got a bath, got to see her sisters, etc.