In an Oct. 1 article about a Montgomery County child-abuse case, the defendant, Charles M. Jenkins of Silver Spring, was correctly identified in the first reference but was referred to as Martin, his middle name, on some subsequent references. (Published 10/2/04)
A Silver Spring man has been charged with assault and child abuse for allegedly beating his teenage daughter with a two-inch-thick board, forbidding her to leave home except for school and feeding her just once a day, from a dirty bowl left outside her bedroom door.
Police allege that Charles M. Jenkins, 46, abused his daughter, now 16, over eight years. In that span, they said, he forced the girl to stand outside their house until he came home, regardless of the weather. She was not allowed to eat at the table with her father and stepmother, police said, and was made to sit on the floor to eat.
The girl was confined to her bedroom or to the basement of the family's house, said Montgomery County police spokeswoman Lucille Baur.
Although police said the girl was abused for years, they did not specify when each type of alleged abuse occurred or for how long.
In July 2003, when the victim was caught trying to take food from the kitchen, Jenkins beat her over a period of three days with a board 14 inches long and two inches thick, Baur said. The beatings caused bleeding and scars on the victim's buttocks, police said.
Martin surrendered to police Wednesday and was being held at the Montgomery County jail last night in lieu of $5,000 bond, said John McLane, a spokesman for the Montgomery state's attorney. A message left at the phone number listed for Martin's address received no response last night. It could not be determined whether Martin had obtained a lawyer last night.
Martin is charged with first-degree assault, punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and second-degree child abuse, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
A District Court commissioner on Tuesday issued a criminal summons for the victim's stepmother for contributing to the girl's abuse, Baur said. Police did not release the stepmother's name last night. People served with a summons are required to report to a court commissioner within a month. If they do not report, an arrest warrant is issued.
Martin ordered his daughter not to discuss her home life with anyone, police said, adding that she apparently complied until last month at a family reunion in Indiana.
There, the girl confided in family members about the alleged abuse, police said. Her aunt reported it to Fort Wayne police, who alerted Montgomery police. The girl, a high school junior, will remain in Indiana, where that state's child protective services placed her in the custody of the aunt who reported the crime, police said.
The victim has two halfsisters, ages 4 and 2, who lived with her, Martin and the victim's stepmother in Silver Spring, police said. Police said they have uncovered no evidence that the two younger girls were abused.
The victim's mother died when the girl was 5, police said. Martin remarried about four years later, in 1998. At that time, the alleged abuse -- which police said already had been going on for about two years -- apparently escalated. The victim was told to stay in her room until noon, could not use the bathroom and was not allowed to take baths, police said.
She was ordered to stand outside the apartment on Veirs Mill Road in Rockville, where the family lived at the time, for hours until Martin came home, police said. That practice continued when the family moved to Silver Spring two years ago, police said.