Deputies: Sarasota couple kept teen-aged girl locked in her bedroom for over a year

Aggravated Child Abuse Arrest

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A woman and her boyfriend are accused of locking a teen-aged girl in her bedroom in a Sarasota home for more than a year.

Jessica Brambilla, 39, was arrested last Friday and charged with aggravated child abuse.

Detectives first learned of the alleged abuse last Thursday, when the teen came forward to officials at a high school in Sarasota to report that she was being held in her room and had been sexually molested and battered.

The teen told the sheriff’s office that she was kept locked in her room in a home on Webber Street, where she lived with 43-year-old Dwight Bainbridge, his girlfriend, Jessica Brambilla, and Brambilla’s 20-year-old son, William Land, as well as four other children.

The teen said Bainbridge, Brambilla and Land only let her out to use the bathroom twice a day and only allowed her to bathe once each week. The teen said she was only given two meals a day of oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water and multivitamins.

She told detectives that she was kept locked up because Bainbridge believed she would bring boys home. The girl was home schooled for the past year and a half, but the girl told detectives that she would have her school privileges taken away as punishment, one time going four months without them.

Detectives went to the girl's home armed with a search warrant and say they found her room, which had a padlock on the outside of the door. The room, which detectives say had limited bedding, had a bucket of urine inside. The girl told detectives she was given a bucket after one time urinating on the floor.

The sheriff’s office says the girl was malnourished, pale, dirty and with poor dental hygiene.

Detectives interviewed Brambilla, who they say admitted keeping the teen locked up, claiming it was Bainbridge’s idea. Detectives write, “Therefore, she saw no problem with how they were treating [her]" and add Land corroborated statements made by Brambilla and the teen.

The sheriff’s office says based on Brambilla’s statements, the victim’s statements and the evidence found, they believe she maliciously punished and unlawfully caged the teen.

Bainbridge has not yet been arrested, but is wanted on charges of aggravated child abuse.

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