OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — An Oklahoma City woman who is accused of dressing as a witch to terrorize her seven-year-old granddaughter has been sentenced to prison for child abuse.
Officers were called to a home in southeast Oklahoma City in September of 2014 after the woman tried to take the victim to a hospital. According to a police affidavit, 51-year-old Geneva Robinson told employees at the hospital that she could not control the girl anymore.
The seven-year-old child looked to be malnourished and had numerous burns and bruises across her body, according to the police report. The report said the victim’s ankles had cuts around them and were infected. Her wrists had marks “which had the appearance of possibly being bound.”
Authorities said the seven-year-old girl claims Robinson, her grandmother, would dress up as a witch and abuse her. The girl told a DHS worker Robinson would wear a green mask, take her to the garage, bind her wrists at night and make her sleep on a pair of pants because “she was in trouble.”
The child said the witch’s name is “Nelda.”
“Nelda” would allegedly “take a pink dog leash and hang the victim in the middle of the garage underneath her arms” and tell the girl “the creatures in the attic were going to come get her.”
The child also said she would be hit with an orange and black whip.
“The evidence at the scene corroborated what she was saying,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department. “There were whips and chains and a witch’s hat found there. Just a completely horrible situation for a child to be in.”
Earlier this year, Robinson pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony child abuse for actions including:
- Pulling on the girl with pliers
- Kicking the girl in the pubic area, causing a fracture to her pubic bone
- Striking the girl in her face causing injury
- Scratching the girl on the neck causing injury
- Approaching the girl while she slept and cutting off all of her hair
- Striking the girl in the head
- Withholding food to the extent that the girl had to steal food to eat
- Not seeking medical care for the girl, who was visibly suffering from ringworm
- Keeping the girl from attending school
- Forcing the girl to sleep outside with the dogs
- Cutting the finger of a six-year-old with scissors
“They’re innocent children, and they were just tortured,” said prosecutor Merydith Easter. “It’s heartbreaking to watch them recount what’s happened to them.”
Robinson was sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences. She can appeal the decision.
Her attorneys argued Robinson’s behavior was the result of an abusive childhood that left her without good parenting skills. She took her son’s four children in when they had no place else to go, they said.
“We don’t have illusions this is not serious, but we are here for mercy,” the attorney said. “Nobody died. This is not a death penalty case.”
But, the judge, announcing her decision, argued a young girl’s innocence and “sparkle” had been taken.
“She has scarred them for the rest of their lives,” Easter said. “She does not understand the horror she inflicted on [the victim]. Geneva Robinson should never walk free again. She should never have access to children.”
Joshua Granger, who told KFOR in 2014 Robinson was innocent and the seven-year-old girl was a “troubled child,” has also pleaded guilty to child abuse and child neglect charges.
Prosecutors said he also beat the two young children and helped Robinson with her witch persona.
“Anyone who sits back and watches it or helps someone else do that deserves to be there with them,” Easter said. “He’s the only person who could have protected [the victim] from Geneva Robinson. He didn’t do that?”
He was sentenced to serve life in prison with the first 30 years behind bars, despite arguments from the defense that Granger was tossed into a chaotic family environment and did the best he could to handle children with behavioral issues.
“Did he screw up?” attorneys asked. “Yes. But I don’t think that proves a lack of compassion on his part.”
In a prepared statement, Granger told the judge he thought the persona would do some good to “scare her into” some better behavior.