Couple gets probation in girl in basement case

Joanna and Shawn Blackston
Joanna and Shawn Blackston

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - A Butler County couple was sentenced Tuesday after they were found guilty of locking a 12-year-old girl in a basement.

Shawn and Joanna Blackston were sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended for time served. They also received three years of probation and must comply to recommendations of a children's services program.

A jury found the Blackstons guilty of child endangering last month.

They were arrested in July after authorities said they found the girl in the basement, dirty and underweight. The girl testified that she was locked in the basement, denied food and punished with cold showers.

A custody hearing for the girl will take place in January. Custody of the couple's other children was given to Joanna Blackston's parents.

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