EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 24, 2014

Mother charged with allowing child abuse, torture in North Andover case

NORTH ANDOVER - A local woman allegedly "allowed" and "directed" her white supremacist husband to abuse and torture her daughters, prosecutors say.

Bail was set at $1,000 and Anne Ladd, 32, was ordered to have no contact with her children following her arraignment today in Salem Superior Court on two counts of permitting assault and battery on a child, permitting assault and battery on a child causing serious bodily injury and two counts of child endangerment.

Her husband, Justin Ladd, 33, has already been arraigned in Lawrence District Court and later indicted on 41 criminal counts associated with the abuse and torture of Ladd's daughters, his stepdaughters. He is held without bail.

Justin Ladd is accused of hitting his stepdaughters with a hammer, beating them with belts and 2 by 4 foot pieces of wood, pulling on their tongues with pliers and threatening to have the girl's raped by a motorcycle group.

Ladd is a white supremacist and the words "white power" were written on the walls of the family's High Street home, a prosecutor said in court today.

With his wife's knowledge, Ladd allegedly hit the girls, who are of Latino descent, and made them "dance around like monkeys," Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said. He would call them racial slurs and tell them he was going to "Beat the black out of them," MacDougall said.

Ladd also allegedly exposed his genitalia to the girls and pulled them out of North Andover schools early so they could do laundry and other chores at home. The abuse allegedly occurred from September 2008 to February 2013.

MacDougall said the victims are Anne Ladd's biological daughters and were adopted by Justin Ladd.

The family moved from North Andover to Fitchburg, where they lived with Justin Ladd's father. After witnessing the abuse, however, he allegedly threw them out. The family then moved in with a New Hampshire couple, who also told investigators about the ongoing abuse, MacDougall said.

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