CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The parents of a 13-year-old autistic girl, whose pregnancy led to sexual assault charges against a 28-year-old man, were arrested on child neglect charges Thursday.
Geneva and Wendell Rose, of Culloden, were each charged with one count of child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury. Investigators say they knew of the relationship between their 13-year-old daughter and Justin Matthew Vance, 28, who was charged last week with sexual assault.
Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Lockhart, who has conducted the investigation since September, said the sheriff's department was contacted by the Special Olympics to report they believed that Vance, of Liberty, was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with the girl.
"The investigation revealed that their daughter identified Justin Vance as her 'boyfriend.' They were contacted by the Special Olympics personnel and advised that they had concerns between this 28-year-old and their 13-year old daughter -- concerns that the relationship was inappropriate in nature," Lockhart said. "That began the investigation."
According to Lockhart, the Roses allowed Vance to move into the residence after the Special Olympics informed them of the relationship between Vance and their daughter.
Vance was allowed to stay in the home in exchange for help with the bills and chores, according to Lockhart.
"I took statements from both Wendell and Geneva Rose, who stated they had heard their daughter refer to Vance as her boyfriend, and that while Vance was living in the house, there were several times in which he was found sleeping on the couch with the 13-year-old girl," Lockhart said.
In their statement to authorities, both Wendell and Geneva Rose state that the victim's 14-year-old half sister would stay in the house for a week at a time with her own boyfriend, and both said they believe the victim was "mimicking the actions of her half-sister."
"They still allowed the boyfriends of both girls to stay in their home," Lockhart said. "When I interviewed the half-sister, she said that on several occasions, the victim and Justin Vance slept on the couch together, and that on at least one occasion, when the Roses witnessed Vance and the victim sleeping on the couch together, they went on to bed without taking action to prevent it."
Wendell and Geneva Rose were arraigned Wednesday by Putnam Magistrate Scot Lawrence. Bond for each was set at $250,000.
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.