Parents Plead Guilty To Racially Motivated Abuse
A step-father pleaded guilty today to torturing and sexually abusing his 2 step-daughters, now 17 and 15, over the course of 5 years in their North Andover home while their mother pleaded guilty for allowing it to happen.
Justin Ladd, 35, pleaded guilty to 32 counts of assault & battery by means of a dangerous weapon, indecent assault & battery, open & gross lewdness, and assaulting a person because of their race. Judge James Lang accepted the joint recommended sentence of 4 to 5 years in state prison followed by 5 years of probation. While on probation, Mr. Ladd, who will be monitored by a GPS bracelet, must take a parenting and an anger management class, have no contact and stay away from the victims, remain drug & alcohol free, register as a sex offender and abide by Department of Children and Families orders. He must also complete any drug and alcohol treatment deemed necessary as well as complete a sex offender treatment program.
Anne Ladd, 34, of Haverhill, pleaded guilty to 2 counts of reckless endangerment of a child and 2 counts of permitting bodily injury to a child for which she has care and custody. Judge Lang accepted the joint recommended sentence of 5 years of probation during which she may only see her children while supervised by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and if her daughters wish to see her.
If the case had gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorney Melissa Woodard would have introduced evidence that would have proved that from September 1, 2008 until February 1, 2013, Justin Ladd repeatedly abused his two step-daughters, whose father is Dominican, by telling them if they “aren’t white, they aren’t right,” ordering them to dance like monkeys, throwing them against the wall, hitting them with a hammer, belt or piece of wood, twisted their tongues with pliers, exposing his genitals to the girls, and threatening to have the Hell’s Angels rape and kill them if they told anyone. In addition, ADA Woodard told the court that Mr. Ladd is covered with “white power” tattoos, had painted Nazi symbols on the walls of his home and would order the girls to give the Nazi salute to him.
ADA Woodard further stated that some of this conduct would take place in front of Mrs. Ladd. At one point in 2012, Mrs. Ladd agreed to file an emergency restraining order against Mr. Ladd and take the girls to live with a family member after the North Andover police, school officials, and DCF were made aware of what was going on. When the children returned to school the following week, the Department of Children and Families was notified and learned from Mrs. Ladd that she failed to renew the restraining order and she thought that the girls were lying. DCF allowed the children to return to the home with their mother and step-father.
In January or early February, 2013, the Ladds were evicted from their home in North Andover and moved in with Mrs. Ladd’s family in Fitchburg. In July 2013 they were forced to move to New Hampshire after Mrs. Ladd’s father obtained a restraining order against Mr. Ladd. Shortly after that, Mr. Ladd was arrested and all of the children were placed in foster care where they remain.
“While there is no amount of jail time that would reflect the utter depravity of the defendants’ conduct, this agreement spares the victims the additional trauma of a trial,” said District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. “As for these young women, who are true survivors, I hope that hearing these people who inflicted such horror admit their guilty, helps them to understand that what happened to them was not their fault.”
In asking the Judge to accept the agreed upon sentences, ADA Woodard said, “these sentences will give finality to this case and allow these two young women the chance to move on from all that they suffered. These are two incredibly remarkable young women, who despite struggling with issues of self-worth, abandonment and a total lack of protection by their mother, these young women have picked themselves up and chosen to survive.”