Overwhelming support for child abuse victim in Madison - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Overwhelming support for child abuse victim in Madison

MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County's human services director told WKOW the outpouring of well wishes and offers to help to a 15-year-old victim of serial child torture has been overwhelming.

Director Lynn Green said two boxes are filled with letters and other communications expressing support for the girl.

"We're hearing from people in Texas, people in California," said child protective services manager Julie Ahnen.

Ahnen said people have even offered to adopt the child. Ahnen said any adoption possibility would involve thorough vetting and be preceded by foster parenting. 

Earlier this month, a passerby found the girl in her pajamas and injured in McFarland. Her father, stepmother and stepbrother have been arrested and face various felony charges in connection with their alleged treatment of the teenager. Authorities alleged the girl has spent the majority of recent years as a virtual prisoner in a Madison home's basement, with little food available.  The case has garnered national publicity.

Community leaders have also been working on establishing a mechanism to allow people to donate money to help the girl.

Madison attorney Mark Scheffer managed a reward fund in connection to the 2008 murder of Joel Marino. Scheffer said funds to find perpetrators or help victims need to involve transparency and accountability.

Scheffer said a fund to raise money for the child's future education, health care needs or other purpose could be undertaken by an independent group. "It could be a religious organization; it could be a social organization; it could be a neighborhood association."

Madison police chief Noble Wray has said community leaders are working to try to identify a fund process.



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