crimesider

"Bathroom Prison": Teen Girl Locked Up, Beaten, Hungry, Escapes Months of Parents' Abuse, Say Cops

(AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff)
(AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff)
PHOENIX (CBS/AP) A 14-year-old Phoenix girl, malnourished and fed only every day or two, sat locked in a bathroom next to a 5-gallon bucket containing human waste for two months, until she escaped through an attic, according to police.

Photo: Scott Bass' mugshot.

Authorities say the teen was also beaten with rods and belts and pulled by the hair when she couldn't withstand the exercises her father, Scott Bass, forced her to do. Bass told investigators he locked his daughter in the bathroom because she stole food from the kitchen and cheated on a home-school test.

The father and stepmother have both been arrested.

Photo: Andrea Bass' mugshot.

Scott Bass, 33, and stepmother Andrea Bass, 31, were arrested Feb. 4 for investigation of child abuse, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. Andrea Bass was released Tuesday after posting a $36,000 bond. She told investigators she didn't know the girl was locked in the bathroom.

The teen told police her father gave her crackers or maybe a can of food every day or two. She used a blanket on the floor as her bed.

After escaping, she fled her house on her bike, and at a nearby movie theatre a concerned couple gave her $50. She then rode 13 miles to a Phoenix strip mall where she bought water, food, a backpack and clothes.

After that, the girl rode to a coffee shop in Scottsdale, where she asked an employee to call police.

When police arrived at the Bass house, her father was "visibly surprised" when he unlocked the bathroom door and her daughter was gone.

The Phoenix girl told police that at a previous home she was forced to sleep on an outdoor patio for five months, locked in a closet for a week and locked in a bathroom for a week. She is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The four other children living in the Bass home showed no signs of abuse, officials said.