Woman to spend 5 years behind bars after abusing, neglecting teen in 'house of torture'

An arrest warrant shows Wesley and Sherry Keen refused to provide the necessary care to a child, who is one of their family members. (Photos: Blue Ridge Regional Jail)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) — A woman has been sentenced to 15 years in jail with all of it suspended after five years in a child abuse case that investigators called 'house of torture.'

Wesley A. Keen pleaded guilty in September to charges that included assault of a family member, malicious bodily injury, abuse/neglect of a child causing serious injury, abduction by force by depriving of liberty, and malicious wounding.

His wife, Sherry Keen, was convicted of felony child abuse and neglect and felony abduction.

An arrest warrant shows Wesley and Sherry refused to provide the necessary care to a child, who is one of their family members.

The investigation began in April 2018 after the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said they were called in to assist Child Protective Services on a welfare check at a home.

The child was removed from the home when investigators noticed evidence of possible child abuse.

Bedford County Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Ayers said the teen was padlocked in a room. The teen would be left in the room for the majority of the day and night without water, food, or a bathroom.

Ayers said the teen weighed only 70 pounds.

Investigators also said the teen was beaten with a belt buckle by Wesley.

An arrest warrant showed the Keens not only didn't provide the necessary care, but Wesley had the intent to disfigure, disable, or kill the child; the grandmother said he broke the child's fingers and teeth.

"Her fingers that were visibly deformed, he had grabbed her by her hand and bent her hand backwards until her fingers broke," Ayers said. "I don't know that there's any length of time that can ever give this child back the torture that she suffered."

Ayers says the teenager claims she was forced to write "I do as I'm told or get punished" over and over again.

Wesley was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

The teen is now in foster care.

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