Watch CBSN Live

Paralyzed woman held captive and beaten by NY couple, police say

police tape, police line, don't cross, murder, crime, generic, 4x3
Cadavers help police solve crimes? Absolutely. At the University of Tennessee's Forensic Anthropology Center, a.k.a. the Body Farm, cadavers are left to rot under various environmental conditions so scientists can learn just how bodies decompose - and how long it takes them to decompose. Forensic scientists use the data to better locate and recover human remains - and solve crimes. istockphoto

(CBS) NEW YORK -A New York couple has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping a partially paralyzed woman and controlling her finances for more than a year, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday.

CBS New York reports Brown said that 42-year-old Patrick Donovan and 63-year-old Mae Washington held the 58-year-old woman against her will, beating her repeatedly with their fists and a cane.

The woman said both Donovan and Washington would lock her in her room and on several occasions bound her hands, legs and mouth with tape.

"The defendants are accused into turning the victim's life into a living nightmare," Brown said.

The victim turned over all her income from Social Security and other sources to Washington, who was given power of attorney over her financial affairs, because, as the DA put it, she feared both her and Donovan.

Law enforcement officials say that the victim had been residing at an assisted living facility, but one of the two accused -- a former neighbor -- convinced her to rent a place with them in order to save money.

Neighbor Nicole Nettleford said she called Adult Protective Services after hearing crying and whimpering from the home.

The DA said police found the victim partially paralyzed and lying on the floor on March 22. The back of her head was bloodied and she had several broken bones. The woman had been living with the defendants since Jan. 1, 2011.

Washington and Donovan have now been charged with first-degree kidnapping, first- and second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. Both were arraigned on March 24.

Both defendants were ordered held without bail and will return to court on April 5. They could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

View CBS News In