Warning: The story below contains disturbing content.
A Massachusetts stepfather pleaded guilty Wednesday to torturing and sexually abusing his two stepdaughters, and their mother pleaded guilty for allowing it to happen.
Justin Ladd, 35, pleaded guilty to 32 counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness and assaulting a person because of their race, according to the Essex District Attorney's Office.
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He was sentenced to 4 to 5 years in state prison, followed by 5 years of probation. While on probation, he will have to wear a GPS bracelet.
His wife, Anne Ladd, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment of a child and two counts of permitting bodily injury to a child for which she has care and custody, the district attorney's office said.
She was sentenced to 5 years of probation during which she may only see her children while supervised by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and if her daughters wish to see her. The two girls – now 15 and 17 – are currently in foster care.
"While there is no amount of jail time that would reflect the utter depravity of the defendants' conduct, this agreement spares the victims the additional trauma of a trial," District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. "As for these young women, who are true survivors, I hope that hearing these people who inflicted such horror admit their guilt helps them to understand that what happened to them was not their fault."
Prosecutors alleged that from 2008 until 2013, while living in North Andover, Massachusetts, Justin Ladd repeatedly abused his two stepdaughters, whose father is Dominican, by telling at them if they "aren't white, they aren't right," ordering them to dance like monkeys, throwing them against the wall, hitting them with a hammer, belt or piece of wood, twisting their tongues with pliers, exposing his genitals to the girls, and threatening to have the Hell's Angels rape and kill them if they told anyone. He also reportedly had Nazi symbols painted on the walls of his home and would order the girls to give him the Nazi salute.
Some of this conduct allegedly took place in front of Anne Ladd, the mother of the two girls.
At one point in 2012, she filed an emergency restraining order against her husband after North Andover Police, school officials and DCF were made aware of what was going on. But she later failed to renew the restraining order, saying she thought the girls were lying.
In early 2013, the Ladds were evicted from their home and moved in with Anne Ladd's family in Fitchburg. They were forced to move to New Hampshire in July of 2013 after Anne Ladd's father obtained a restraining order against Justin Ladd. Shortly after, Justin Ladd was arrested and the children placed in foster care.