Video: Woman charged with keeping niece prisoner

updated 11/18/2008 12:28:11 PM ET 2008-11-18T17:28:11

A Worcester woman was charged with raping and beating her teenage niece and forcing her to work for the rest of the household in a "Cinderella-type situation."

Mara Escobar was ordered held on $25,000 bail after pleading not guilty at her arraignment Monday to multiple charges, including assault and battery on a child and rape of a child with force.

Police Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst said the 16-year-old girl was forced to do housework and live in a sparsely furnished room while Escobar's two daughters had TVs, DVD players, video games and toys in their rooms.

According to court records, the rapes, which involved objects, and assaults happened between June 2007 and Sept. 1. The girl was allegedly slammed to the floor, kicked and punched. She suffered two black eyes and a sprained wrist.

The girl told social workers in September that she was being abused and the case was referred to law enforcement, authorities said.

Station WHDH-TV quoted an unidentified lawyer for Escobar as saying she denied the charges of mistreatment. The girl had been having problems for years, the lawyer said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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