Man accused of locking 10-year-old daughter in basement for months now fit for trial

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- A Waukegan man who, with his wife, is accused of confining their 10-year-old daughter to their basement because they thought she was possessed by demons, has been found fit for trial.

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The Waukegan parents of a 10-year-old girl were charged after they allegedly kept the child in a basement for more than a year, saying they believed she was possessed by a demon, p

The Illinois Department of Public Health has found 48-year-old Randy Swopes can stand trial in Lake County on child endangerment and unlawful restraint charges.

Swopes is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 15 for a hearing in which his attorneys can either accept or challenge the fitness determination.

After previously being deemed unfit for trial, Swopes was held in a secure treatment facility in Elgin for treatment.

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A doctor has declared a Waukegan man unfit to stand trial for allegedly locking his daughter in a basement because he thought she was possessed by demons.

Swopes and his wife, Katherine, are accused of keeping their daughter in a basement room for months.

"During the course of the investigation a statement had been made by at least one of the suspects that they believed the 10-year-old child was possessed by a demon," said Commander Joe Florip, Waukegan Police Department.

Police discovered the girl living in the basement in poor conditions in the 200-block of Liberty Street on July 17, 2018, thanks to an anonymous tip.

"She was showering with a bucket, she was using the bathroom in a child's port-a-potty, she had very, very limited access to the outside," Frolip said.

Since at least January, the girl was locked in the basement at night and had limited access to the outside, police said. The girl was given a training toilet for a bathroom and showered from a bucket, police said. Investigators also believe she was kept away from her siblings - ages 7, 13 and 15.

Katherine Swopes, 49, is free on a $25,000 signature bond and is prohibited from contacting the victim and three other children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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