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Therapy dog helps emotional 14-year-old girl confront family members who bound and sexually assaulted her

January 26, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Therapy dog helps emotional 14-year-old girl confront family members who bound and sexually assaulted her

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A 14-year-old girl, who escaped from a basement where she was bound and handcuffed by two family members who sexually assaulted her, confronted the two suspects in court on Tuesday.

The girl, who had Anna, a golden retriever therapy dog next to her on the witness stand, told the court that she was often kept in the basement as punishment by stepfather 53-year-old Timothy Ciboro and Esten Ciboro, his 28-year-old son.

The teen managed to get out of her handcuffs by herself and fled while the two men were out back in May.

The victim said she was locked in the basement on and off for a year and was sexually assaulted from 2012-2015 when her mother left and never came back. Timothy is also facing rape charges that involve another girl, WTOL reported.

Nancy Borders, of Toledo, Ohio, left, a dog handler, sits with Anna, a trained Lutheran Church Charities Comfort dog

The pair pleaded not guilty to charges that include kidnapping, rape, and endangerment of a child. The two men stated they would use Bible scripture and “God’s holy word” to defend themselves.

“There‚Äôs a great strategy in Scripture, and I use those strategies in everything I do,” Esten Ciboro said to the judge. They added that they intend to integrate the Bible into their defense.

The two suspects are representing themselves and questioned the girl after she reported that she was shackled at the ankles to a support beam in a dimmed room for various lengths of time.

At one point during her statement, she told Timothy Ciboro to stop calling himself her father. “You didn’t treat me like a dad,” the girl said.

Stand-by counsel John Thebes, right, advises defendants Timothy Ciboro, left, and his son, Esten Ciboro, seated, with the proper way to ask questions of a witness.

“You think I like punishing you?” Ciboro replied.

“I would say the sexual touching is what you enjoyed,” the girl responded, who occasionally stopped to smile or pet her comfort dog.

Anna is a veteran therapy animal who has helped school children, flood victims and has visited nursing homes and hospitals.

Prosecutors announced that the teen had suffered both physical and mental abuse before she used a spare key to flee last summer when she was only 13.

Officers discovered leg irons in the basement along with a bucket the girl said she was forced to use as a toilet, a police report revealed.

Timothy Ciboro (left), 53, is accused of sexually abusing and imprisoning his 13-year-old stepdaughter. His son, Esten Ciboro (right) faces the same charges

The girl’s mom was living in Las Vegas at the time. The girl and two other kids were living with the two suspects.

The victim testified that she was abused more harshly than the other two children.

Her penalty for wetting the bed grew worse from being hit to being locked in a bathroom, to being restrained and locked in the basement.

She also stated that she first told authorities that she had not been sexually assaulted and only disclosed it months later.

The two defendants tried to point out that they provided her with shelter, clothes, and food.

“Did your dad act like I loved you?” Timothy Ciboro asked her.

“Sometimes it seemed like that,” she responded. “Normal fathers wouldn’t do sexual stuff to their kids.”

Timothy Ciboro worked as a firefighter until 2004, but Fire Chief Luis Santiago recalled that he was not “a very good employee.”

Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

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