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Parents Face Trial on Child Neglect, Sex Abuse Counts

December 08, 1991|Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A judge ordered a couple held for trial after their 12-year-old daughter testified that her mother watched as her father tortured her with needles and hot wax.

"Children are not ours," District Justice Rick Farra said at a preliminary hearing last week. "The good Lord makes them, and the good Lord sends them to us to take care of them.

"It's our responsibility, and apparently it wasn't done in this case."

Rickie Jay Gaddis, 34, faces 159 counts ranging from sexual assault to endangering the welfare of children. His wife, Debbie Louise Gaddis, 33, was held for trial on 122 similar counts.

The couple was charged with raping and molesting two of their children and beating and neglecting five others. The girls, ages 3, 5, 8, 12 and 13, and two boys, 8 months and 8, are in a foster home.

Both parents were held in lieu of bail--$1 million for the father, $500,000 for the mother.

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