Ashtabula County couple accused of child abuse faces judge

Ashtabula County couple accused of child abuse faces judge

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - It is a case with striking similarities to the caged kids case involving the

several years ago. No cages here, but a couple is charged with using two bedrooms of their home as cages.

David and Rejeana Moss were arraigned in

Wednesday morning. It is alleged that for about two years, they locked their three adopted children in bedrooms -- two girls ages 11 and 13 in one room and a mentally-challenged adult male in the other.

Conditions at the home were reportedly deplorable and the kids were allegedly malnourished. The windows were boarded up so they couldn't see outside, and buckets were placed in the rooms to serve as toilets during the extended time they were locked up.

"Virtually all day, every day. We estimate it to be approximately 22 hours per day," Ashtabula County prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci told the judge.

After the girls picked a lock and escaped, they took their parents car and crashed it. That's when they were able to report the abuse to authorities. Prosecutors say a search warrant turned up ample evidence to support what the girls told law enforcement.

The couple claims they homeschooled the three, whom they adopted 11 years ago.  

The pair faces kidnapping, felonious assault and endangering children charges. David Moss also faces charges of gross sexual imposition and sexual battery involving the two girls.

"They were repeatedly beaten with a paddle by Mr. and Mrs. Moss. The paddle was used so often and so harshly that it had blood stains on it," said Iarocci. "The minor girls further allege that Mr. Moss committed sexual abuse on each of them."

Bond was set at $50,000 each in court, which the couple quickly posted, despite claiming they couldn't afford a lawyer. The judge ordered the pair to stay away from the kids.

"They have thrived, the children. The girls are doing especially well and they are in the process of being adopted by another family," said Iarocci.

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