Police: Disabled woman abused, forced to eat dog food

Ruby Richardson (Source: WLEX)
Ruby Richardson (Source: WLEX)

POWELL COUNTY, KY (WLEX) - A woman was arrested following allegations of extreme neglect and abuse, where the victim claimed she was forced to eat dog food, then left at a home for weeks without heat or food.

According to the Powell County Sheriff's Department, earlier this week, deputies responded to a complaint and found a woman in her 50s with the mental capacity of a child inside of a house on Martin Street in Stanton. Deputies said the woman was covered in several layers of blankets and clothing and claimed she had been left there two weeks ago without food, heat, or her medication.

"That's pretty evil to do that to somebody," said Jeremy Fugate, who lives next door to the Martin Street home. "It's very disturbing to hear this, especially so close to home. We had no idea. I mean the house looks abandoned and we ain't seen anybody around it."

"She was extremely cold. She was extremely hungry," described Deputy Robert Mathews with the Powell County Sheriff's Department. "We went and bought her something to eat. We bought her enough food to feed two people and she ate every bit of it."

Ruby Richardson was arrested and lodged in the Montgomery County Jail, charged with exploiting, neglecting, and abusing the woman.

Court documents said the victim in the case told deputies she lived with Richardson for more than a year. During that time, she said Richardson repeatedly beat her and took her Food Stamp money and disability checks.

An arrest warrant even claims the victim "had been made to eat dog food and table scraps." The victim reportedly weighed about 230 pounds one year ago and was now down to less than 100 pounds.

When the woman was dropped off at the home on Martin Street, court documents allege Richardson told her, if she answered the door for anyone she "would go to jail because was a registered sex offender." Deputies said the victim was not a sex offender.

"If someone did this to an adult that has this handicap, it's no worse than abusing a child. In my opinion, it's the same because this lady appears to me to have the mind of a child," said Deputy Mathews.

Richardson was released from the Montgomery County Jail Thursday afternoon on a $5,000 bond.

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