PHILADELPHIA PHILADELPHIA a woman who had A role in the kidnapping, torture, and slavery disabled adults discovered chained in a basement, was on Tuesday sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.
Philly.com reported that Jean McIntosh, 38, sat in the federal courtroom as some of the victims testified about the lasting impact of the abuse they had endured. Law enforcement officials said McIntosh helped prosecutors build a case against her mother, Linda Weston, the leader of the group of victims imprisoned for years in a cramped, Philadelphia basement in an attempt to steal more than $200,000 in government benefits.
Weston previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years to avoid the death penalty. Her lawyers said the woman had years ago of similar abuse when she was a child.
In all five persons were charged with 196 counts, after the police rescued four people from the basement in October 2011. Details of the squalid conditions, abuse and forced prostitution shocked Philadelphia and the country if in the full breadth of the allegations were released in the charging documents.
On Tuesday, McIntosh, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to extortion, kidnapping, fraud, and hate crimes, held a cloth to her mouth as videos of some of the victims were played.
“I can’t go back now,” she said, when granted a moment to speak. “But I really want with my whole heart that I could. I participated in hurting all of you. I’m really, really sorry.”
Prosecutors said Weston, McIntosh and three other members of what they call the “Weston family” forced and pressured to a number of mentally disabled prisoners in making Weston their designated beneficiaries for their benefits. They shuttled prisoners between the different states to avoid being caught, and often locked in basements, closets and other confined spaces, they give the minimum food often enriched with tranquilizers.
One of McIntosh and Weston first victims testified that she was forced to have children with another prisoner. She said Weston and McIntosh ripped the baby from her arms in the hospital and told her that he had died. She noticed that the McIntosh was saying the baby was of her and the requests of the benefit for the child.
She told the court that together they build a relationship with her children, who in 2011 was that she was their biological mother.