Crime

Lexington couple indicted on multiple child-abuse charges

Lexington firefighters transported Cheryl G. Christopher from the courtroom after she suffered a convulsion after her preliminary hearing on Thursday, July 28, 2011 in Fayette District Court in Lexington, Ky.  The preliminary hearing was held for Christopher, who faced abuse and other charges for allegations that she attempted to strangle her children and made them jump off a roof. She also is accused of locking one of them in a dog cage.  Her husband Elisha is charged with first-degree criminal abuse in the case.   Photo by David Perry | Staff
Lexington firefighters transported Cheryl G. Christopher from the courtroom after she suffered a convulsion after her preliminary hearing on Thursday, July 28, 2011 in Fayette District Court in Lexington, Ky. The preliminary hearing was held for Christopher, who faced abuse and other charges for allegations that she attempted to strangle her children and made them jump off a roof. She also is accused of locking one of them in a dog cage. Her husband Elisha is charged with first-degree criminal abuse in the case. Photo by David Perry | Staff

A Fayette County grand jury has indicted a Lexington woman on charges that she locked her children in a dog cage, forced them to jump off a roof and tried to suffocate them with plastic shopping bags.

Cheryl Ann Christopher, 51, was indicted Tuesday on two counts of first-degree criminal abuse, two counts of unlawful imprisonment and two counts of wanton endangerment for causing "torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment" to two children, according to the indictment.

Christopher's husband, Elisha David Christopher, 69, was indicted on two counts of criminal abuse. Police have said he knew about the abuse but failed to report it.

The indictment says the alleged abuse lasted from January 2010 to November 2010. Police have said they were first contacted in June by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services about disturbing statements that the children made during therapy sessions, he said.

Police have said the girls told their counselor that their mother put them in dog cages with Doberman pinschers and attempted to drown them after taping shut their eyes and mouths with duct tape. The girls also said their mother placed plastic bags over their heads, forced them to jump off a roof and locked them in their bedrooms for extended periods.

Police have said Cheryl Christopher had five adopted children living with her, but the majority of the alleged abuse seemed to be directed at two girls, who were 7 to 9 years old at the time.

Cheryl and Elisha Christopher are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 7.

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