( Middletown ) A couple accused of locking their 12-year-old daughter in the basement of their homes for nearly a month over the summer will be in court on Tuesday.
40-year-old Shawn Blackston and 37-year-old Joanna Blackston had originally been charged with several felonies, but are now only facing a misdemeanor child endangering charge that will be handled in Juvenile Court.
Investigators say the girl was kept in dirty conditions in the basement as punishment until she was found by caseworkers in July. The couple's six other children were removed from the home and placed in foster care.
The case has prompted renewed scrutiny of the Butler County Children's Services Department, with an attorney for the alleged victim saying there were red flags that were ignored.