Shared from the 2/22/2018 Star Tribune eEdition

Police say twin girls suffered ‘torture’


LIBOR JANY • This is the Minneapolis home where the twins were allegedly held captive by their father.



Twin sisters with diminished mental and behavioral capacity were raped, starved and beaten, and subjected to long stretches of captivity in chains by their father in their Minneapolis home, according to charges filed this week.

The abuse continued for years, according to the criminal complaint and other court filings, until one of the twins escaped to alert authorities last May.

Charges filed Tuesday against Jerry Lee Curry, 51, and a protective order against him also reveal that he fathered two children by one of the twins, one born in June 2014 and the other in October 2017. The twins are now 21 years old.

Curry surrendered to authorities Wednesday. He remains jailed ahead of a court appearance Thursday.

Police said they are trying to find the victims’ mother to find out what she might know about the violence.

The complaint charging Curry with numerous violent felonies, as well as court orders for protection on the twins’ behalf, also alleged he beat the couple’s 10-year-old daughter but not nearly to the extent of what he inflicted on the twins.

Curry’s rage was fueled by one of the twins becoming sexually active and his belief they were eating too much, authorities say.

Charges against Curry came more than nine months after the siblings first made the abuse allegations known to authorities. County attorney spokesman Chuck Laszewski said investigators needed virtually all of that time to collect sufficient evidence, and “when we had everything we needed, we filed the charges.”

The twice-impregnated twin gave a firsthand account of the abuse in a request for a protection order that a judge granted last June.

“I don’t ever remember having enough food,” she wrote. “He forced me to have sex, [and] he has done this to me every day since I was [in my] early teens or so,” the account read. “He did this to my twin sister also.”

She added that being “chained to the door and bed every day for as long as I can remember,” and threats of being killed and left in the trash continued until her twin fled to a friend’s home and police “took me to a safe place,” bringing the abuse to end in early May.

“It feel[s] so good today to not be chained to the bed.”

The twin who gave birth twice after being raped was identified in the complaint as Victim B, and a psychologist determined she is at a “mild to moderate” level of intellectual disability and unable to live on her own. The other twin,VictimA,ismoreseverely diminished intellectually and behaves no older than 7, the complaint continued.

Child safety experts with Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis examined the twins soon after leaving their parents’ care and concluded their injuries were “clinically diagnostic of torture.”

Curry, whose criminal history in Minnesota includes drunken driving and low-level assault convictions, is newly charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, stalking, first- and second-degree assault, abuse of a vulnerable adult, and gross-misdemeanor child endangerment.

Thefamily’ssouthMinneapolis home is owned and rented out by Jennifer Nepper of MapleGrove.ShesaidWednesday that the twins’ mother is mentally handicapped and “really nice. I feel terrible about this.” Nepper declined to say more about what went on in the 1,100-square-foot home on a typically quiet Northrop neighborhood block.

An officer went to the home on a domestic assault call on April 25, 2017, before the siblings told their accounts to authorities. The initial police report from that call shows no arrests or other action taken.

According to the charges against Curry:

On May 1, the mother reported that one of her twin daughters, Victim A, was missing. Authorities found her the next day at a downtown shelter with “significant injuries consistent with abuse.”

On May 9, county human services officials removed the other twin, Victim B, and the young sister from the family’s home.

On June 12 and again a few days later, Victim A detailed for authorities what she and her sisters endured in the home starting at least as far back as roughly 10 years ago when Curry allegedly stomped on and broke the twin’s ankle.

Victim A said that once her parents realized she was “sexually active,” her father repeatedly put a dog chain tightly on her ankles and connected it to the parents’ bedroom door “to prevent her from seeing men” and to deny her food.

This bondage would sometimes last for days, often with her hands tied behind her back, and Curry would beat her bloody while she was bound, Victim A said. She said her twin also was similarly chained.

An examination of Victim A on June 15 revealed a “largely detached” left ear and scars on her forehead, scalp and back. She said those wounds were inflicted with a bat and a paddle.

Other injuries to Victim A included a chronic limp from being chained so tightly. Back in February 2017, she had skin graft surgery on one ankle at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC).

County health services officials had the other twin, referred to as Victim B, admitted on May 9 to HCMC. On June 9, a nurse saw her crying, and she told the nurse that Curry raped her and she was pregnant by him. She said he “routinely raped her” when her mother was not home. DNA samples from Curry and Victim B confirmed that he was the father of her 3-year-old daughter and was the twins’ biological father as well.

Victim B said she also saw her father hit her younger sister but chose not to chain the girl because she “was considered too young.”

The 10-year-old was examined in early May at HCMC, and there were no signs of physical abuse. In questioning in June, the girl said Curry hit her in the head with a golf club a few years earlier and made her strike her sisters with a stick.

On June 30, a professional guardian petitioned the court for a protection order against Curry on Victim A’s behalf. That filing revealed that she was sometimes naked while chained and left to wallow in her feces and urine.

The chains were so snug on Victim A that gangrene set in and nearly cost her both legs before surgery on both ankles saved them.

The petition also alleged that Curry bloodied the mother with punches and had one twin hit the other.

Victim B alleged that Curry and her mother always kept the twin’s Social Security disability payments to buy drugs and alcohol.

In her firsthand account for the protection order, Victim B recalled when police finally “came to our home [in May 2017] and took me to a safe place. I am here with my guardian, and I feel safe with her.”

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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