Man and half-sister get 108 years in prison after ‘feral child’ rescued from sex abuse

LEXINGTON, Va. — A man and his half-sister were sentenced to a combined 108 years in prison after two girls were removed from a home with “subhuman” conditions, according to the Roanoke Times.

Robert Eugene Clark

On Tuesday, Robert Eugene Clark, 39, was sentenced to 65 years in prison on nine counts that included rape, aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties.

Samantha Simmons, 30, was sentenced to 43 years on 11 counts that included aggravated sexual battery, sodomy and endangerment of a child.

In 2015, social workers finally removed a 3-year-old girl and her 8-year-old sister from the home after repeated pressure from the county sheriff’s office, which became concerned about the home after responding to a neighbor’s call, the newspaper reported.

A caseworker for the Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services, Peggy Sigler, said about the youngest victim, “She was a feral child; that’s the only way I could describe her.”

The Times’ report said the girls were “subjected to filthy, bug-infested conditions and the whims of incest in a family that spanned three generations of sexual abuse.”

Samantha Simmons

“They were taught to perform sexual acts more so than they were taught to brush their teeth,” Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jared Moon said.

The children were placed in foster care and are doing much better, but both still show the signs of the abuse they endured, according to the paper.

The younger girl, now 5, has not been able to enter kindergarten and shows signs of developmental disabilities. She can only identify one color and has only learned basic words and numbers.

Social workers were slow to respond to complaints from neighbors, The Roanoke Times reports. A former supervisor at the agency allegedly refused to enter reports into a computer system, as required by state policy, and is also accused of shredding some reports of child abuse made to the agency.

No social workers have been charged with a crime in the case.

During court proceedings, the defense said Simmons endured sexual assault by male family members long ago and “deviancy to her became the normal.”

Clark, who has a mental disability, did not deny committing the crimes, but said he couldn’t remember doing them. He also said he was comfortable in jail, saying, “As long as I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep on and three meals to eat, I’m happy.”