TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson mother accused of holding her three daughters captive in her home pleads guilty Monday.
Investigators said Sophia Richter and her husband, Fernando, imprisoned the girls for up to two years in filthy conditions. She, along with her husband Fernando, kept the kids locked in the house, took them out of school and gave them moldy water and food while watching them through cameras.
A court convicted them both of kidnapping and child abuse.
An appeals court later ordered a new trial for Sophia, claiming a judge should have let her claim she acted because Fernando threatened her.
In court on Monday, Sophia took a plea deal. She plead guilty to child abuse and kidnapping charges in Pima in Pinal counties. She sobbed through her statements admitting to the crimes. Tissues were passed around the court room, where others were crying. Two of the girls who endured the abuse were present in the court room.
Sophia Richter is facing up to 20 years in prison, but could end up with just probation. Because she reached a plea deal, the state dropped the dangerous crimes against children charges.
She could receive up to seven years of probation for kidnapping and a lifetime of probation for child abuse. She will be sentenced June 10.
Fernando Richter, the girls’ stepfather, is appealing the 58-year sentence he received in 2016.