PHOENIX - Sixteen-year-old Shannon Charlebois stood in front of a judge Thursday morning and squarely blamed her stepmother for six years of horrific abuse and torture that started when Charlebois was just 8-years old.
“My dignity was taken,” Charlebois told the judge.
She then turned to her stepmom, Andrea Gould, and declared, “I will not let you take the best part of who I am.”
Charlebois escaped from her Phoenix home back in 2010 after she said her parents locked her in a bathroom for months.
Over a period of four years, Charlebois said she was also spent time locked inside closets and locked outside on a patio during the summer months.
She said occasionally, her father, Scott Bass, and Gould would give her canned food, crackers or bread to eat.
“I would not be fed for days,” Charlebois told ABC15.
She would even be forced to go to the bathroom in a bucket.
Charlebois said her parents would also make her exercise until exhaustion and beat her with belts and metal rods if she stopped.
“It's hard and I'm going to live with it for the rest of my life. I still have scars all over my body and when I look at them, it triggers, but I just tell myself it's over,” said Charlebois.
Over because both parents are now behind bars.
Bass is serving a 15-year sentence for child abuse and on Thursday morning, a judge sentenced Gould to five years for her role in the abuse. Both also will be on probation for the rest of their lives.
“Yes, she [Gould] did leave me with scars and bruises that I'm probably going to have for the rest of my life until I die, but she has not ruined me,” said Charlebois.
When she was 14-years old, Charlebois made a daring escape after climbing into an attic crawl space.
“I didn't know where I was going. I just crawled out of the linen closet, got into the ceiling and just ran out the door on a bike. Finally, I was like I can't do this any more. I went from downtown Phoenix all the way to Scottsdale on a bike,” Charlebois explained.
Charlebois rode to a gas station where workers called 911.
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