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Wisconsin woman accused of torturing, starving stepdaughter accepts plea deal before trial

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MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin woman accused of torturing and starving her teenage stepdaughter has pleaded no contest to child abuse-related charges.

The woman entered the plea Monday to first-degree reckless endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

Both charges are felonies carrying a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

The woman entered the pleas in a deal that came hours before her trial was to start. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other felony counts as part of the deal.

Investigators say the woman and her husband, the girl's father, kept the girl locked in their basement, tortured her and starved her down to 68 pounds.

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