Yakima couple charged with locking up teen daughter

YAKIMA, Wash. - A Yakima couple accused of locking their 15-year-old daughter in a windowless bathroom for several days have been charged with unlawful imprisonment.

The Herald-Republic reports 33-year-old Antonio Ceja Jr. and 30-year-old Meriah Ceja face one month in jail to 5 1/2 years in prison if convicted as charged.

The teen's mother and stepfather were arrested Tuesday after their daughter told police she tore up a section of bathroom flooring in order to crawl underneath the house and escape. She fled to her grandmother's house located nearly 20 blocks away. The grandmother notified police.

The girl's stepfather later told officers the girl was only locked in the room for half an hour, according to court documents.

But Capt. Rod Light says the girl had injuries consistent with claims she had been struck and left alone in a small bathroom for two and a half days. Officials say the teen also was beaten with a broom handle before ending up in her homemade jail cell.

Deputy prosecutor Gary Hintze said Friday the girl's parents may have been upset about a boy their daughter was interested in.

Yakima prosecutors say the girl's stepfather has a felony history. He's now banned from contacting anyone younger than 18.