Family denied contact with abuse victim
Jury selected in Chad Chritton's trial
A jury has been selected for the case against Chad Chritton, a father accused of locking up and starving his teenage daughter.
Meanwhile, some of the victim's family members said they have been denied contact with the girl referred to as "SLC" in court.
A jury of 10 women and six men will decide whether Chritton is guilty of six felony charges connected to the 15-year-old's abuse. His wife, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, is also accused of locking the girl in the basement and denying her food until she wasted away to 68 pounds.
Drabek-Chritton is also facing six felonies, including child abuse and neglect. The girl's stepbrother has been accused of sexually assaulting her.
SLC's cousin, Tanya Hansen, has spoken out in support of the victim before. She told WISC-TV that relatives on the victim's biological side of the family don't know where SLC is, who she is with or how she is doing.
The victim's great aunt, Pamela Timmermans, said the victim's biological mother was forced to sign away her parental rights when she and Chad Chritton divorced.
Maternal relatives have made numerous requests to visit with SLC or send letters to her, but Dane County Social Services said they could have no access to or contact with the girl.
"All we want is for her to know that she has family that loves her and will be here for her when she has the ability to decide for herself rather than some arbitrary supervisor working for the system," Timmermans said in a written statement.
Relatives said they were also concerned to learn that child advocates are not helping SLC. Timmermans specifically referred to Dane County's CASA program not being involved.
Dane County Social Services Director Lynn Green would not go into detail about the case or the condition of SLC. Green said once a parent terminates his or her rights, that person cannot legally restore those rights.
The trust fund created by the victim's maternal relatives to support her in the future is still active and raising money, according to family members.
Chad Chritton's trial is set to begin Tuesday morning. WISC-TV's Dannika Lewis will be tweeting from the proceedings
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