15-year-old was abused and tortured by family members for a decade, Florida police say

Florida police arrested four members of a family in relation to the alleged abuse and torture of a 15-year-old who claimed she was beaten and kept in a cage at their home in Margate.

The Margate Police Department initially arrested the girl’s aunt and uncle and her sister for the abuse and later arrested a fourth person for not registering as a sex offender in an unrelated case.

The girl initiated the abuse investigation after reaching out to an online instructor asking for help.

46-year-old Latricia Elizabeth Crawley and 43-year-old Benjamin Deztuan Lockett are the girl’s legal guardians. They are accused of starving her, beating her, and keeping her in a cage at times.

Police said the pair struck the girl’s toe with a hammer, poured boiling water on her stomach, and bound her with rope. They also allegedly oiled the girl’s knees and forced her “kneel on rice for several hours at a time,” which caused permanent scarring.

She also claimed that her aunt would toss cold water on her to wake her up and that Crawley would tape her eyes shut while dunking her head in water.

On Thursday, police arrested the girl’s sister, 20-year-old Shankyria Latricia Clayton, for allegedly participating in the abuse and failing to report it.

On Monday, police arrested 74-year-old Horace Crawley, who also lives in the home, for failing to register as a sex offender over a 1994 attempted rape conviction from upstate New York.

When asked if Crawley was involved in the abuse, police responded that the investigation was still active and ongoing.

“We’re going through the course of our investigation to determine how many more, if any, people will be charged with abuse and neglect of our victim,” said police Lt. Alain Banatte.

Crawley, Lockett, and Clayton are facing various child abuse charges.

The victim was take into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Margate is a city of about 58,700 people near Miami.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

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