Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Siblings accused of making their sister live in a shed will go to trial

Redwood City, California - The siblings of a 58-year-old woman with developmental disabilities who are accused of making her live in a shed in their home's back yard will go to trial, the San Mateo Times reports:

Bertha Lozano, 46, and her 53-year-old brother, Jesus Ramirez, kept their mildly mentally disabled sister in an 8-by-12-foot metal shed while stealing her disability checks and neglecting to provide her with adequate care, prosecutors say.

Their sister, 58, who is diagnosed with mild mental retardation and a psychotic disorder, initially told police she had been living in the shed since 1980 but later said she had been there since 2001.

Among the items found in the shed were a mattress with a thin blanket, a portable toilet unattached to running water and a space heater, a San Mateo County Sheriff's deputy testified during a preliminary hearing held for Lozano and Ramirez on Wednesday.

A Barbie doll and a coloring book were also present in the shed, which is described as being "relatively well-kept."

As reported in an earlier FRIDA post, the woman told police that she lived in the shed because their was no room for her inside the house, which housed her brother, her sister and apprently, seven pit bull terriers. Lozano and Ramirez are expected to return to court on Dec. 18. They are each charged with one count of neglect of a developmentally disabled person and one count of embezzling funds from someone under their care.