A Fearing Township man who is the caregiver for two siblings with developmental disabilities is being accused of encouraging his brother to assault his sister, along with other abuse and neglect.
He was arrested Tuesday along with his wife, who reportedly supervised the beatings.
Russell T. Farr, 50, and wife Angela J. Farr, 32, both of 20 Killwell Run, Marietta, are caretakers for Russell's brother and sister-Douglas Farr and 47-year-old Virginia Farr.
According to a statement of facts, a Washington County Sheriff's deputy responded to a call Tuesday about a woman with bruises on her face wandering around near the home.
"She was found in the vicinity of Killwell (Run), and she had left the residence because of the abuse," said Major Brian Schuck of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Virginia told the deputy she had fled her home because her brother Douglas, who also has developmental disabilities, and sister-in-law Angela had beaten her with a bat for failing to feed the family dogs. She added that she is regularly denied food when she forgets to feed the dogs.
The deputy contacted Russell, who confirmed that he and Angela have Douglas discipline Virginia so they do not have to hit her directly.
Russell turned over a text message that he sent his wife on Monday, advising her to have Douglas hit Virginia for not feeding the dogs.
"OK since Doug likes whipping her ass since there are 5 dogs. Have Doug give her 5 good smacks," read the text message.
Douglas reportedly then took a bat and struck Virginia across the back with Angela watching.
Both Angela and Russell were arrested, and Virginia and Douglas were removed from the home.
They have been placed at a safe, but undisclosed location, said Susan Tilton, superintendent of the Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
The organization regularly monitors adults with developmental disabilities in the county, particularly those thought to be at a high risk for abuse or neglect, she said. However, the agency was not aware of Virginia and Douglas' presence in the county until events unfolded Tuesday, added Tilton.
"These people were originally from West Virginia, and they have moved around a lot over the past six years, according to other family members," she said.
According to Schuck, Virginia and Douglas have been in their brother's care for approximately 20 years. Angela has been married to Douglas for the past 14 years, he said.
It is currently unknown if Douglas has also been abused. However, there is some suspicion that was the case, said Tilton.
"He was checked out at the hospital too," she said. "They don't ever want to go back."
Tilton said Russell and Angela did not have legal guardianship over the victims. Rather they were caretakers and payees of Douglas and Virginia's social security checks, she said.
Angela has been charged with misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and complicity to commit domestic violence. Russell has been charged with a misdemeanor count of complicity to commit domestic violence.