A Frankfort father pleaded guilty Friday to charges relating to the abuse of his three children.
Andrew Powell, 26, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal abuse, Franklin County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Zach Becker said. Powell admitted in a plea agreement that in late August he had intentionally permitted the cruel torture and confinement of his children, ages 2, 4 and 6.
Powell’s wife, Kimberly, 26, entered her guilty plea to the same charges on Dec. 2. She is to be sentenced in February.
Under the plea agreement, Becker recommended that Andrew Powell receive a sentence of five years. Becker, who had recommended a similar sentence for Kimberly Powell, took no position on probation for Andrew Powell and left that to the discretion of Judge Thomas Wingate. Andrew Powell is scheduled to be sentenced March 10.
The investigation began in July when the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call made to a social services hotline.
Upon entering the mobile home on Georgetown Road, detectives found the home to be bug-infested and smelled of urine and feces, which was caked on the children, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said at the time. Feces was found under their fingernails, Melton said.
The children were removed from the home and taken into emergency protective care, but after a custody hearing, they were returned to the parents, the Frankfort State Journal reported. After another home visit they were removed again, the paper reported.
Melton also said at the time that the Powells “neglected to provide the children with adequate medical care, supervision, food, clothing. They were routinely locked in a bedroom alone, with a shoestring tied around a doorknob and tied to a screw on the door frame.”
“This was a highly emotional case to many of those involved in the investigation considering the circumstances wherein these children found themselves, by no fault of their own,” Becker said in a written statement. “Even the Department of Community Based Services supervisor involved in this case assessed these facts to be one of the worst they had seen in their career.”
Becker added: “There were many who openly criticized the DCBS social workers, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and myself for becoming involved and seeking criminal charges in this matter. However for those fully apprised of the underlying facts, there was no option but to seek these charges to ensure the protection of these children.”