SALEM, Mass. — A man prosecutors say is a white supremacist pleaded not guilty yesterday to a 41-count indictment that charges him with physically and sexually abusing his adopted Latina daughters over a five-year period, after marrying their mother.
Justin Ladd, 33, and his wife Anne Ladd, 32, who is out on $1,000 bail on charges that she allowed and even encouraged some of the abuse, waved at and whispered to each other in the courtroom at Salem Superior Court.
"I love you," Justin Ladd called out to his wife as he was led back to a holding cell after a judge ordered him held without bail, and she walked out of the courtroom after the proceeding. He then blew her a loud kiss.
But while Justin Ladd professed love for Anne Ladd, prosecutors say he had no love for her daughters, born of a prior relationship with a Latino man.
Though he legally adopted the girls, prosecutors say, he viewed them with contempt, referring to them with racial slurs and threatening to "beat the black out of them."
In a North Andover apartment whose walls were festooned with the words "white power," Ladd would beat the girls with two by four pieces of wood, pulled on their tongues with pliers when he didn't like something that they said, and threatened to have a motorcycle gang rape them.
Prosecutors also have said Ladd, who is covered in white supremacist tattoos, would expose himself to the girls.
Among the charges he is now facing are multiple counts of indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness, mayhem (intentional disfigurement); witness intimidation, and more than two dozen counts of assault and battery, most involving a dangerous weapon.
The allegations involve incidents in North Andover, but prosecutors have said the abuse continued after the family moved, first to a relative's home in Fitchburg, which they were asked to leave after Justin Ladd's father witnessed some of the abuse, and then in New Hampshire, where a couple the Ladds were staying with finally reported the abuse to authorities, prosecutors say.