Charges were filed today against a sex offender in Texas who's now accused of holding four men against their will in "deplorable" conditions, then forcing them to hand over their monthly rent checks.
The locked, converted garage that 31-year-old Walter Renard Jones allegedly forced the men to live in had no beds, no bathroom and very little food, police tell CNN. Jones, who didn't live on the property, is charged with two counts of injury to the elderly. He is reportedly the grandson of Essie Mae Scranton, who owns the home.
The victims, three of whom investigators say suffered from malnutrition when they were found in the garage Friday morning, were taken to the hospital. They are in stable condition, KHOU reports.
They'd been living in the house for an unspecified amount of time. Their surroundings, complete with burglar bars, locks, and only one small chair as a piece of furniture, have been described as a "prison room" and a "dungeon."
Police were told that the men were lured to the home with promises of food, beer and cigarettes. Instead, they were held captive and forced to give away their Social Security and Veteran's Assistance checks.
Four women were also found in the house. Three of them appeared to suffer from mental illness, and the fourth was a caretaker, police said. Their living conditions, however, were considerably better than those of the captive men. It wasn't immediately clear if there was any connection between them and Jones' alleged victims.
Adult Protective Services will be looking into the case to check the mental capacities of the victims and the homeowner.
Court records show that Jones had previous charges, starting in 2002, for theft, failing to register as a sex offender and marijuana possession. The investigation is ongoing, police told KHOU.