A Phoenix woman pleaded guilty today to charges related to locking her 14-year-old stepdaughter in a bathroom for months, barely feeding her, and forcing her to exercise until exhaustion.
Andrea Bass pleaded guilty today to two counts of attempted child abuse, several months after her husband, Scott Bass, also took a plea deal, which landed him 15 years in prison.
The girl had apparently been subjected to the treatment because she "stole" food, which police only found out after the girl escaped from the bathroom she'd been living in for more than two months.
With plenty of time to get creative, the girl crawled through a linen closet, climbed into the home's attic crawl space, kicked out a loose board, ran out the back door, and rode a bike to a nearby coffee shop, whereupon the cops were called.
The Basses allowed police in their home, and were quite surprised when they found out the girl was not there.
Some evidence was still there, though, including a bucket full of urine, a blanket, and some empty cans of food.
Police later discovered that the couple forced the girl to exercise until exhaustion, beat her with belts and metal rods, and pulled her up by her hair if she stopped exercising -- all for "stealing" food from her parents.
The girl told police she was given food while locked in the bathroom, like crackers, bread, and canned foods, but it only came in every few days.
Before the bathroom was selected as the place for the Basses to keep their daughter, the couple had previously decided to keep the girl outside overnight some times during the summer, or lock her in a dark closet.
In an interview with police, Andrea Bass said she no longer wanted anything to do with the girl.
Her husband apologized a few months ago -- at his sentencing.
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When the Basses were arrested in February 2010, four other children were removed from the home by Child Protective Services.
Andrea Bass' sentencing is scheduled for June 6.
James King contributed to this post.