A woman in Brazil was rescued this week after being kept prisoner in a 3×3 room with no toilet for 16 years by her father and brother, because she got pregnant as a 20-year-old out of wedlock during a fling. The child was taken away and given to another family when he was born.
The father will not be tried for his crime due to poor health. The brother faces only 8 years for this crime, according to Brazilian law. The mother knew what was going on and didn’t want to keep the girl prisoner, but was out-ruled by the men of the house.
The room they kept her in was dark, with only a small window that was kept shuttered. There was no toiled and officials say the place smelled like urine and feces, absolutely unsanitary. She was kept naked and fed twice a day. The house is in such a remote region that cars rarely pass by, so the girl couldn’t find help sooner.
The rescued woman was happy to see rescuers, and is slowly gaining weight and learning to write again after he ordeal. Officials believe they have located the son as well, and there may even be a reunion.
The Daily Mail finds:
A Brazilian woman who was punished by her family for getting pregnant and held for 16 years in a tiny room has been freed from her private jail hell.
Maria Lúcia de Almeida Braga was locked up in a room which measured only three metres by three metres after she got pregnant at the age of 20 after a fling with a man.
When she gave birth her son was given away to another family.
Police said the room where Maria Lúcia was kept did not have a toilet and stank of urine and faeces. It had no electricity and the only light was from the window, which was kept shuttered and locked most of the time.
Maria Lúcia was kept naked but was fed twice a day, like an animal.
Maria Lúcia was rescued from her family’s remote compound outside the town of Uruburetama in Brazil’s Ceará on March 9 but the news only emerged yesterday after her brother, João de Almeida Braga, was arrested.
Braga, 48, was arrested for illegally imprisoning her and mistreatment but the maximum sentence he faces is only eight years in prison.
Her father is believed to have been the prime mover, along with the brother, for locking her up but he suffered a stroke and will not be prosecuted because of his health.
Maria Lúcia’s lawyer, Harley Filho told the Globo newspaper: ‘She became pregnant…and out of shame, the father chose to imprison her. She gave birth and her son was delivered to a third party.’
Her mother reportedly disagreed with the punishment meted out to her daughter but was overruled by her husband and son. She developed psychological problems and remains bed-bound.
Police arrived at the family’s remote compound after being tipped off anonymously. They broke through several padlocks to gain entry.
A police spokesman said: ‘It was a three-by-three room with only one hammock. It was very fetid, damp and very dirty. She rushed over to the officers with open arms when she saw us.’