Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
January 18, 2012 permalink
An adopted girl told a court in Clarksville Tennessee of her endless beating at the hands of her adoptive parents.
Alleged child rape, torture recounted in trial
The 17-year-old girl's voice was thick with emotion as she fought back sobs from the witness stand Tuesday afternoon in Judge John H. Gasaway's court.
The words came slow as the girl described in detail how she and her sister were severely beaten and tortured by her adopted family from the period after she was adopted in July 2006 until she ran away from the home on March 18, 2008, at the age of 13.
After almost two years of abuse the girl said she fled for her life on March 18, after the woman she called 'mom' had allegedly beat her in the head with a rolling pin and hit her in the face with a spatula for doing something incorrect.
The impact busted an old burn that she said her "mom" caused by holding a flat iron to her scalp for a long period of time. The bloodied girl fled to a nearby neighbor's house.
When asked by John Finklea, assistant district attorney, why she ran away from home the girl said, "I thought me and my sister (were) going to die."
Her adopted mother, Windie L. Perry, 55, adopted father, Earnest Perry, 68 and adopted sister, Elizabeth A. Perry, 23, are standing trial jointly in a 45-count indictment accusing them of crimes against the now-17-year-old girl and her sister, now 15 years old, including: 27 counts of aggravated child abuse, 12 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, four counts of child rape and two counts of aggravated rape. Windie and Elizabeth Perry are the only ones charged with child rape and aggravated rape.
The jury of 13 heard the evidence put on from the state, represented by Kimberly Lund and John Finklea, assistant DAs.
During opening statements, Lund told the jury the allegations would be horrific.
"On March 18, 2008, a 13-year-old, (girl) ran from the home at 806 R.S. Bradley Blvd. where she should have been safe, cared for and loved, but she ran from a place where she was deprived of food, beaten with belts, poles and extension cords, where she was chased with an axe, burned with a flat iron and had scalding hot water poured over her," Lund said. "It was a place she was tied down and handcuffed almost daily, where jumper cables were placed on her toes, her mouth, and her (private parts). Where she was held down by her sister, Elizabeth, and raped with a broom or mop by her mother Windie. She ran after she was hit in the head with a rolling pin and face with a spatula."
Defense attorney J. Runyon, who represents Windie Perry, Charles Bloodworth, assistant public defender who represents Earnest Perry, and Greg Smith who represents Elizabeth Perry, asked the jury to listen to the whole case and all the evidence before drawing any conclusions.
"The information set out in the indictment is horrible, there is no way around it, but when you listen to the entire story and you hear all sides you will see points that don't seem to make sense. You are allowed to take their common sense to the jury ... when you are looking at the entire package not just parts, I think you will find some of this doesn't line up,' Smith said.
Bloodworth said the two girls had been in the foster system for five years and had been abused before they came to the Perrys' home. Bloodworth said the Perrys adopted seven children, took the sisters in despite their past. and painted the home as a "loving environment."
The 17-year-old described specific times the two were brutally beaten at the hands of Windie and Elizabeth Perry.
"They beat her and put duck tape over her mouth so she couldn't scream. They beat her with a red rubber hose and a baseball bat and she stopped breathing," the 17-year-old girl said. "She used the bathroom on herself and they cut the duck tape off her face. She'd stopped crying and I was screaming ... Mrs. Perry told me and Elizabeth to go get some cold water and put it on her face."
The teen described being forced and locked inside of a small black metal dog kennel with bars in the basement of the home for many nights. One at least one occasion she said, Windie and Elizabeth Perry put the dog kennel in the bathtub.
"They would run hot water," she said. "They would tell us we needed to take a bath and they'd pour hot water in the tub, then put water in a tea pot and pour it on us."
When asked by Finklea why the kennel was put in the bathtub, the alleged victim said it was to make sure the feces and urine would go down the drain when they used the bathroom on themselves.
"We were trying to get out," she said. "Mrs. Perry poured the hot water from the kettle on our fingers. We fell in the water and the skin on my bottom came off."
The girl said she was never taken to a hospital and Windie and Elizabeth put aloe vera and Vaseline on the burn which she said was "red and was showing red meat."
Over testimony that lasted several hours, the teen described how she and her sister were handcuffed together by the ankles and tied and chained to a cot outside of Windie Perry's door; beat with belts and a metal pole on their back, buttocks and legs; deprived of food for 3-5 days and only given bread or a vitamin and water; had jumper cables put on her fingers, toes, ears, lips and clothes pins put on her nipples, eyelids, fingers, toes, legs and private area that left bruises; being beat with a hammer on their fingers, toes, ears and elbows resulting in bruising; and having her fingers bent backwards until her thumb broke.
The alleged victim said the actions came as "punishment" for not cleaning up well enough or peeing in the bed. Despite the cries and screams she said the "punishment" did not stop and when she was injured she was never taken to a doctor. Although she said Windie Perry was the "boss" and determined punishment, she said Elizabeth Perry often helped and Earnest Perry was usually away from the home, because Windie Perry had put him out.
Dozens of pictures were shown and she explained each of themm including one where she said she had been beaten in her legs by Windie Perry with a bat and Windie Perry used an insulin needle to suck the pus and blood out before cutting it with a knife.
The pictures were so graphic that Officer Heather Hill, who took the pictures, became emotional as she introduced them into evidence earlier in the morning.
Although Windie Perry is charged with raping her, the 17-year-old girl said she was not raped by Windie or Elizabeth Perry, but did experience seeing her sister sexually assaulted by Windie Perry.
"I had to hold her arms and legs down so she wouldn't move," the teen said about her little sister. "Windie Perry stuck a broom in her (private) ... she had peed in the bed."
Court resumes today at 8:30 a.m. with further questioning of the alleged victim by the state and cross examination by the defense attorneys.
Source: Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville Tennessee