The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Judith Leekin. She gets the award for the following.
PORT ST. LUCIE — Prosecutors officially filed charges Wednesday against a woman accused of abusing and neglecting 11 adopted children while pocketing most of the $2 million in state and federal money police estimate she collected to care for them.Absolutely disgusting. This story has gotten a great deal of coverage locally, but was also a featured story at AOL for much of the Day. For barbaric treatment of children and adults in her care, Judith Leekin is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
So far, New York City foster care officials said they have accounted for $1.26 million in payments to 62-year-old Judith Leekin, who adopted the children through four agencies that subcontract with the city agency, the New York City Administration for Children's Services. Using at least four aliases, Leekin adopted the 11 then-young children and teenagers from 1993 to 1996, collecting monthly payments until July of this year, spokeswoman Sheila Stainback said.
Judith Leekin, 62, of Port St. Lucie is accused of hiding malnourished, underdeveloped teenagers in her home.
Leekin could face up to 190 years in prison if a judge imposes the maximum sentence for all of Wednesday's 10 felony counts, said Assistant State Attorney Jeff Hendriks. But most sentences are not served consecutively.
Investigators say Leekin starved the malnourished and underdeveloped children and adults found hiding in her home. Their ages now range from 15 to 27.
Over the years, the children and mentally disabled adults were, at times, bound together with handcuffs and zip-ties and made to sleep on a tile floor.
They were not allowed to use the bathroom and kept from attending school or visiting doctors or dentists, police say.
The state attorney's office charged her with four counts of aggravated child abuse, four counts of aggravated neglect of a elderly or disabled adult, one charge of witness tampering and one charge of possessing a fictitious driver license, Assistant State Attorney Jeff Hendriks said.
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