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Rivae Hart, Brian Hart Admit Locking Granddaughter In Bathroom For Years

05/17/12 07:03 PM ET AP

Brian Hart Rivae Hart
Brian Hart and Rivae Hart admitted they barricaded their granddaughter in a bathroom for years, seldom letting her out. They did so, they claimed, because of the girl's behavioral problems.

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio couple who authorities say kept a 9-year-old girl barricaded in a bathroom for several years was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.

The girl's grandmother, Rivae (RY'-vuh) Hart, and her husband, Brian Hart, had pleaded guilty to several charges last month.

Fifty-year-old Rivae Hart pleaded guilty to charges of abduction and endangering children. Fifty-one-year-old Brian Hart pleaded guilty to a charge of permitting child abuse.

Police say the girl was kept in a small bathroom area blocked by stacked dressers and was rarely allowed out for several years. Authorities say the Harts told them they confined the girl because of behavioral problems.

The couple was sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in Dayton. The county prosecutor said the girl can now begin her recovery.

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Filed by Hilary Tuttle  |