Back on Feb 8, 2012 our community and the immediate neighborhood where shocked with the allegations of child torture that came from a Madison home on Triechel St. As many of you have heard by now the jury reached its verdict last week in Josh Drabek sexual assault and intentional child abuse trial. Josh is the step-brother of the victim, who was kept in the basement for over five years, starved, tortured, maltreated, etc by Josh and his parents Chad and Melinda Chritton. Chad and Melinda's cases were adjudicated earlier this year.
The victim is doing remarkably well considering all that she had been through. She is safe and living in foster care. She has begun a long healing process, but still has challenges ahead. Her growth is permanently stunted, the years of maltreatment/malnourishment resulted in a permanent cognitive disability since her brain was literally starved and thus not allowed to grow and develop. She is 17 years old and in the 7th grade (since emotionally, socially and educationally she is similar to a 12 year old) and the overwhelming emotional and physical toll that she has had to endure.
The difficult part of our policing job is always dealing with victims, as we travel with them through the criminal justice system. It has been heart wrenching for staff directly involved in the case to watch the victim over the past two years try to be resilient as she learned to cope with her new life. Det. Krajcinovic, the lead case detective, stated that throughout her career, "I had never had to watch a child go through all the interviews and testifying in front of a packed court room three times about intimate, humiliating, vile things that were done to her". The victim knew that she had to go forward so "they could not deny" what was done to her. Knowing that, she still agreed to subject herself to opening all the wounds time and time again.
Our community owes a thanks to MPD Det. Maya Krajcinovic, ADA Matt Moeser, and Victim/Witness specialist Amy Brown for thier effort and dedication on this case.