Couple accused of keeping kids as prisoners have court appearance

2014-01-14T13:37:00Z Couple accused of keeping kids as prisoners have court appearancePatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A mother accused of keeping her three children locked in their bedrooms wept throughout a brief court appearance Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court.

Sophia Leeann Richter, 32, and husband Fernando Hernandez Richter, 34, are accused of child abuse and kidnapping in allegations they held Sophia Richter’s 12-, 13- and 17-year-old daughters as prisoners in the couple’s west side home.

Fernando Richter, the girls’ stepfather, also faces aggravated assault charges.

The couple was in court for a scheduling hearing.

Tucson Police arrested the Richters in November after one of the girls escaped to a neighbor’s house. Police said the girls claimed to have been isolated within their rooms for more than a year, allowed to leave only to use the bathroom.

They girls were unclean and malnourished when police found them.

A new hearing was scheduled for Feb. 10.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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