HAMILTON, Ohio - A couple who allegedly kept a 12-year-old girl locked in their basement for weeks face trial Nov. 12 on a child endangering charge.
Thirty-seven-year-old Joanna Blackston and 40-year-old Shawn Blackston have both pleaded not guilty in Butler County to the misdemeanor count. Earlier felony charges of kidnapping were dismissed.
Investigators said in July the girl was confined to the Middletown home's basement as punishment, and was let out only to use the bathroom.
She's since been placed in foster care, along with five children who had been living with the couple.
The Middletown Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/Pwq8g0 ) that the attorney for Joanna Blackston says she hopes the couple will soon have the children back home. The kids' ages range from 2 to 16.