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Daughter of sentenced woman: 'I was really hungry' | News

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Daughter of sentenced woman: 'I was really hungry'
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A Madison woman accused of the sustained abuse and neglect of her teenage stepdaughter and starving her down to 68 pounds was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of extended supervision Friday.

Melinda Drabek-Chritton pleaded no contest to first-degree recklessly endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child.

She was arrested after her badly malnourished stepdaughter was discovered last year, claiming she was being held against her will in a basement.

During sentencing, a letter from the girl, referred to as SLC, was read.

?I can really truly tell you, cross my heart and hope to die, that I was really hungry -- terrified to be hurt all those years.?

SLC asked the judge to give her stepmother the maximum sentence.

Drabek-Chritton told the judge that for years she tried to be a good mom and tried to make the best decision, but she failed.

District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne referred to the case as a ?system failure? and said the system failed the child.

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Ozanne said Drabek-Chritton claimed the girl is still a danger to family and others but that the behavior hasn?t been seen at home, the hospital or school.

SLC?s foster mother testified that the girl, who has been with her for a year and a half, has had no behavioral problems. She said SLC is more confident and independent than when she took custody.

A jury found the woman's husband, Chad Chritton, who is the girl's father, guilty of child neglect in March.

The girl's stepbrother is set to stand trial in February on charges he sexually assaulted her.

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