A Georgia couple was arrested this week on charges of child cruelty and false imprisonment after their 15-year-old daughter told authorities that she was forced to live in a chicken coop and wear a remote-controlled shock collar.
The 15-year-old, who was home schooled, reportedly said that her adopted parents, Samuel and Diana Franklin, punished her for not finishing school work by spending up to six days at a time in the chicken coop behind their house in Butler over the past two years.
Chicken coops are known to have high levels of ammonia (PDF) which can be dangerous to both humans and animals.
Authorities said that the girl was also forced to do manual labor and spend time in a 4-foot-wide outhouse.
“I’ve never seen anything like this personally,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Wayne Smith explained. “If the allegations prove to be true, it’s a very severe case.”
A shock collar was found at the home when the parents were taken into custody on Tuesday. The girl said that a device similar to one that remotely locks and unlocks cars was used to activate the collar and punish her with jolts of electricity.
Authorities said the device appeared to match the description provided by the girl. The collar and a leather belt were being examined at a crime lab for DNA evidence.
Diana Franklin told one neighbor that she was “doing what the Bible says” by punishing the girl for not doing chores the “right way,” according to KLTV.
Diana Franklin was charged with four counts of false imprisonment and 12 counts of cruelty to children. Samuel Franklin also faces charges of 8 counts of false imprisonment and 8 counts of cruelty to children. Both parents were released on bond on Thursday.
Watch this video from WTVM, broadcast July 11, 2012.