News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 18, 2009
BURKE CTY, Ga. --- It was a shocking story out of Burke County last summer: two parents arrested and charged with 10 counts of cruelty to children after the family was found living in squalor.
The father, Jeremy Long, was arrested first; his wife Christine, five months later.
Tonight, ten of their 11 children are still in protective custody, but as News 12 found, this mother now says she was abused for decades and she wants a divorce.
This story was hard to believe, now this, 43 graphic paragraphs outlining physical and mental abuse to Christine Long and her children allegedly at the hands of her husband Jeremy Long.
It's hard to believe anyone was living in the home, let alone 13 people, 11 of them children. Babies as young as 6 months old, with no electricity, no water, no beds.
The only food inside, three jars of jelly and applesauce.
The Burke County Sheriff's Office uncovered the family living in filth and arrested Jeremy Long. They charged him with ten counts of cruelty to children and five counts of failure to provide an education for children.
His wife Christine later arrested on the same charges. But the week before the couple is scheduled for trial, Christine Long says she wants a divorce.
"What Ms. Long has alleged is nothing short of torture." Attorney Jack Long is representing Christine. "Nothing short of mental and physical cruelty in the worst way you could possibly imagine."
Christine says she was physically and violently beaten by her husband to the point she would black out. She also says her husband did continuously rape her for an entire day, all of it in front of the children.
Christine even says some of her children were conceived during these rapes.
Christine says Jeremy Long did not regularly supply food, at times .the family surviving solely on ramen noodles; and that the family felt like prisoners in their own home.
"It's really really sad. " Yasmin Thomas-Goodman has worked at SAFEhomes of Augusta for 12 years. She says this case is the worst she's ever seen. "If they are a victim of domestic violence they will deny themselves and their children because the love the person or too scared to leave or they don't have the resources."
Christine Long is now working for the first time in years. Her attorney says she's taking steps to get her life and her children's lives back on track. Christine Long also alleges Jeremy Long had a drug and alcohol abuse problem and at times, spent whatever money the family had on his habit rather than properly providing for them.
Now those were just some of the allegations, others were too graphic for us to share.
Both Christine and Jeremy Long were scheduled for trial next week, the Assistant District Attorney says that will be continued. There is a motion for Mr. Long to undergo a mental evaluation. He has been in jail since Auguste, despite being given bond.