A Phoenix man who pleaded guilty to charges that he locked his 14-year-old daughter in a bathroom for months, barely fed her, and forced her to exercise until exhaustion, was sentenced to 15 years in prison this morning.
Additionally, Scott Bass, 31, was sentenced to lifetime probation by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Paul McMurdie.
In January 2010, Bass' daughter escaped from the bathroom she'd been locked in for more than two months by crawling through a linen closet, climbing into an attic crawl space, kicking out a loose board, and running out the back door.
The girl then rode a bike to a coffee shop, where employees called police.
When police got to Bass' house, he and his wife -- the girl's stepmother, Andrea Bass, who was also charged with crimes for abusing the girl -- allowed them in for questioning. When police opened the bathroom door, which was locked from the outside, the Basses were shocked to see the girl not there.
Instead, they found a bucket full of urine, a blanket, and some empty cans of food.
It was later revealed 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.
The reason for the abuse: punishment for "stealing" food from her parents (click here to read the heartbreaking story of another Valley girl, Ame Deal, 10, who died earlier this year when family members stuffed her into a tiny footlocker because she, like victim in this case, "stole" food).
The girl later told police she was given food -- crackers, bread, and some canned foods -- every few days, hardly enough to sustain the body of a teenager..
Police later discovered that the girl was often forced to sleep outside in the summer, and locked in a dark closet.
Under questioning by police, Andrea Bass admitted to abusing the girl, adding that she no longer wanted anything to do with her.
After the Basses were arrested, four other children were removed from the home by Child Protective Services.