March 28th, 2012
05:14 AM ET

NY Police: Partially paralyzed woman beaten, held captive for months

Malnourished, bloodied, and bruised.

That's how authorities say they found a 58-year-old partially paralyzed woman who was held against her will in a Queens, New York, apartment by a couple who cashed her social security checks.

Prosecutors say Patrick Donovan, 42, and Mae Washington, 63, lured the victim from an assisted living facility, convincing their one-time neighbor to rent a room in their apartment to save money.

From the time she moved in on January 1 until last week when officers found her, the woman was repeatedly beaten; had her hands, legs and mouth bound with tape; forced to clean up after the couple's dog and cats despite her partial paralysis; and locked in an empty room that could only be opened from the outside, authorities said.

Afraid, the woman - who has not been identified - handed power of attorney for her finances to Washington, and the couple used her social security checks to buy things for themselves, the Queens District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

"The defendants are accused of turning the victim's life into a living nightmare," District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. "Once out of the safe and secure environment of her assisted living facility, the victim was allegedly betrayed by the defendants whom she thought she could trust."

The woman's niece who had not heard from her for months called police Thursday, concerned for her safety.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ma & pa

    @BOMBO...Without the sarcasm font, what you inadvertently described is an underground slave labor cell, sometimes beginning with children who never see the light of day in this world. Subject for The Innocence Project and the FBI.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gijoe

    Yet another case of black brutality

    March 29, 2012 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Superman

    @@@bombo come on man, be nice, thats sick

    March 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
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