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Family pleads guilty, forced girl to live in closet

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Two family members of a young girl, who was neglected and abused, pleaded guilty in court Wednesday. Investigators say the little girl was malnourished and forced to live in a closet.

Sergio Almeida, the girl’s stepfather, and Maria Gonzales, the grandmother, were accused of knowing about the abuse and doing nothing to stop it.

They both received five-year suspended sentences.

Last summer, police arrested Aesusena Gonzales, 31, on a charge of child neglect.

Last year, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

Investigators say the girl weighed only 19.8 pounds.

Police believe Gonzales kept the child in a closet for extended periods and the child was forced to go to the bathroom in a cup.

Police say there were five other children in the house, but none of them showed any signs of abuse or neglect.

A worker from the Department of Human Services told investigators that Gonzales abused the 5-year-old girl because her daughter looked a lot like her father and that Gonzales did not like the father.