National News

RCMP allege parents sexually abused, starved kids

By The Canadian Press

DAUPHIN, Man. - Police in western Manitoba have charged a couple with confining, starving and sexually abusing their children over a period of three years.

RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said Mounties received a tip about child abuse in the Parkland area earlier this month. Investigators say they found three girls under the age of 10 in a home. They were in the care of one biological parent and the parent's partner.

"Unfortunately, RCMP investigators discovered the children were often not fed, they were locked in their rooms for most of the day and the two older girls were forced to perform sexual acts," Seel said.

The children have been removed from the home and are in the custody of Child and Family Services, she said. The couple, who are not being identified, are facing numerous charges that include sexual assault, making child pornography, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessities of life.

Court documents show the alleged offences occurred between September 2011 to the present.

The pair appeared in Dauphin provincial court Tuesday. Court documents show the man is being held in custody. His case is to return to court next Tuesday.

The woman has been granted bail. She is due to appear in court Sept. 30.

The RCMP Internet Child Exploitation Unit is assisting with the investigation, Seel said. RCMP won't say how old the children are or where exactly they are from to avoid revealing anything that might identify them.

"These children have suffered immensely," Seel said. "The last thing we want to do is identify them and have them face more scrutiny."

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