Woman receives 5 years in prison for locking stepdaughter in bathroomPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- A Valley woman will be spending the next five years in prison for locking her teenage stepdaughter in a bathroom.
Andrea Gould (also known as Andrea Bass) was also sentenced to lifetime probation on Thursday for two counts of attempted child abuse.
In February 2010, Gould, 34, and her husband Scott Bass were arrested for locking Bass’ 14-year-old daughter in a bathroom for approximately two months because she stole food and cheated on a home-school test.
The girl had no running water, was beaten with metal rods, and was forced to exercise until she was exhausted.
She was eventually able to escape through the attic, and rode her bike to safety.
“I was done being abused and starved and beaten and I just wanted to get out." Shannon says she will never forget February 4th 2010, the day she finally managed to escape her parents Scott and Andrea Bass' abuse. “I climbed out of a whole in a linen closet and broke down a board in the ceiling and got on my bike and drove 15 miles to Scottsdale and called police for help.”
Shannon says she felt bad leaving her 4 siblings behind but, “I wasn't doing it because I’m selfish and wanted to save myself I did it for them too.”
And as a result it's her dad who's now locked up for the next 14 years, her step mom, for 5 years.
Shannon says there is one reason why she is speaking out now about the horrific abuse she endured. “I want kids to understand there are people who will listen and won't hurt you.”
“I lived through it for 6 years because I was scared and it's ok to be scared but if you don't do anything about it you're not going to end up anywhere.”
Before being sentenced Andrea Bass addressed the court.
“I just want to say I’m terribly sorry for the suffering Shannon endured,” said Bass. “I know I will always love Shannon, I will always love her.”
But Shannon doesn't want the victims of abuse to fall for that.
“My dad told me all the time I love you so I'm going to beat you but that's not love.”
Now, both safe and happy in her new adopted home, Shannon says children who are being abused need to know, “Not everybody is hurtful, kicking and punching you in the face with a metal rod, there are people who care. You just have to tell someone.”
Gould and Bass were charged with three counts of child abuse and one count of kidnapping. They both originally pleaded not guilty.
Bass was sentenced to 15 years in prison and lifetime probation back in December after reaching a plea deal in the case.