Louisiana family members sentenced in caging, abuse of autistic woman


Bridget Lambert (Left) & Raylaine Knope (Right) (Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two Louisiana women have been sentenced to prison for violently abusing an autistic relative, keeping her in a backyard cage and forcing her to do chores in exchange for food and water.

A statement from FBI Special Agent Bryan Vorndran in New Orleans Thursday says Raylaine Knope was sentenced to 28 years, and her daughter, Bridget Lambert, was sentenced to four years. Both pleaded guilty to forced labor charges.

Prosecutors have said family members beat the victim, burned her and forced her to eat the cremated ashes of her late mother.

Knope’s son was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison. The Advocate reports Knope’s husband is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 31, and their other daughter’s case goes to trial in 2021.

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