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Deputies Say Putnam Couple Charged In Child Neglect Case

Reported: Feb. 13, 2014 12:28 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 13, 2014 10:48 PM EST

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CULLODEN, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) -- The parents of a special needs girl were arrested for what investigators said they allowed a man who lived with them to do to their teenage daughter.

The Putnam County Sheriff said the parents allowed Justin Vance, who was living in their home, to have a sexual relationship with their daughter. He is 28. The special needs little girl is 13, and she's pregnant with his child.

Geneva "Kay" Rose and Wendell "Ed" Rose, Jr. sat stonefaced as Magistrate Scot Lawrence read through their charges: Child neglect resulting in serious bodily harm.

"As punishable by 1 to 10 years in the state penitentiary," Lawrence said.

"And you know who that is, right?," he asked the couple, pointing to her paperwork.

They shook their heads yes, identifying it was their daughter in question, a 13-year-old autistic girl, who investigators said is carrying Vance's baby. Police said she referred to him as her "boyfriend".

"Mr. Vance, had allegedly impregnated a 13-year-old girl," Putnam County Sheriff Steve Deweese, who called the case sickening, said. "Apparently, they met during the Special Olympics last year."

A representative from the games called the Roses, concerned there was an inappropriate relationship between Vance and the girl. Still, the family told police they let Vance move into their home in Culloden, in exchange for help with paying bills and doing household chores. He slept on the couch and police said the pair would curl-up on the couch together and fall asleep. And that the parents let this go on for months.

"It's why these laws are in place in our state,” Deweese said. “As parents, we have duties and responsibilities and this was one case where the parents were not doing their jobs."

"Both of you raise your right hand,” Lawrence said to the parents. “You swear the information obtained on this affidavit to be the truth, the whole truth, so help you God?”

“Yes your honor," the Roses replied softly.

The Roses were led away to jail. Their daughter is staying with an aunt.

"Pregnant and also suffers from autism,” Lt. Ryan Lockhart, with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, said. “I think, offends every sense of morality you might have."

Bail for the Roses has been set at $250,000 each. Justin Vance has already been arrested and remains in the Western Regional Jail. The girl's mother told investigators the family will keep and help raise the baby.

WINFIELD, W.Va. (Kallie Cart) -- A Putnam County couple is being charged with child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury.

Deputies said a 13-year-old with autism was impregnated by a man living in their home. They said Wendell and Geneva Rose allowed Justin Vance to stay with them even after they were warned by Special Olympics about the relationship.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

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