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Williamstown women charged with child endangerment

Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 06:50 PM CDT
Reported by: Donna Kirker Morgan

WILLIAMSTOWN -- Two women are accused today of handcuffing a seven-year-old boy to a bureau drawer that was nailed in place and padlocking his 11-year-old sister in her attic bedroom.

Word of their arrest is spreading through the town of Williamstown where the two woman lived on Market Street. Neighbors say the two women only moved to the home recently and the children were not seen outside of the home very often.

“This was jailing the children,” Assistant District Attorney Sean McCormack said. “We are alleging this didn't happen one time, it was a routine event.”
Prosecutors say the two children became prisoners in their own home at bedtime and that imprisonment could last as long as 12 hours.

The children have been taken into protective custody by Children and Youth Services.

The siblings are the biological children of 30-year-old Mary Sekula. Court records say it was her partner, Leeann Alberts, who came up with the idea to handcuff the boy to the furniture, as well as lock the girl in the attic.

The court papers say Sekula went along with the treatment and sometimes participated. Both women are now accused of child endangerment and unlawful restraint.

“I can just imagine a fire starting downstairs. There could have been a fire, and if they couldn't get up there fast enough, those kids could have died, “ McCormack said.

Neighbor Marie Kilpatrick told CBS 21 the couple only been living here a few months. This case has upset neighbors in this small town.

Court documents says it was wounds on the boy’s leg that initiated the investigation into the women. His ankle had marks due sleeping with the handcuffs. A teacher noticed the marks and called Dauphin County Children and Youth.

Sekula and Alberts were both released from prison after posting bail. 

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sekula and Alberts on Nov. 19.Williamstown women charged with child endangerment

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