Second week of abuse trial begins - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Second week of abuse trial begins

MADISON (WKOW) -- The second week of testimony begins in the trial for the Madison man accused of severely neglecting his teenage daughter.

Chad Chritton faces seven counts of child abuse, including neglect and false imprisonment. Authorities say he kept his 15-year-old daughter, known as SLC, in the basement with no food or a bathroom. 

The trial began Monday February 25th. The prosecution has called more than two dozen witnesses, including medical staff who treated SLC, police, teachers and other staff at Glendale Elementary school where SLC attended third grade, and social workers with Dane County.

On Friday, social workers talked about their work to ensure the girl's safety in the Chritton's home after allegations she was sexually abused by her step brother Joshua Drabek.

Monday morning, more social workers took the stand to talk about their work with the Chritton family in 2007. This time, the social workers were with a program called Safe at Home Family Service, a counseling program.

Therapists held several sessions with Chad Chritton and his wife Melinda Drabek-Chritton to talk about SLC after the sexual abuse allegations.

Social workers testified that Chritton told them SLC was angry and had trouble communicating with the family. Linda Sheehy says she was unable to observe any of those behaviors.

Debie Evans, a social worker with Mendota Mental Health, says the girl did act unusually.

"I recall that she was very quiet, almost timid-like," says Evans. "I remember that it was difficult at times to engage her in activity."

Safe at Home's services ended for the Chrittons when SLC went to live with her grandparents in Minnesota for a short time.

Testimony is expected to continue at least through the rest of the week.

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