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Iowa parents accused of locking teens in basement

ANKENY, Iowa — A mother and father have been charged with false imprisonment after their adopted teenage children told authorities their parents locked them in the basement of their suburban Des Moines home for weeks, allowed them out only for school, and passed their meals under the locked door.

The 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy told authorities that the imprisonment was a form of discipline, but no information has been released on why they were being punished. The Iowa Department of Human Services said it removed the teens from the home in Ankeny after one of them told a school employee about their confinement.

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The 45-year-old father and 44-year-old mother, who were arrested Wednesday, were also charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person. They each posted $22,000 bond and were released after a few hours.

Police said the children reported being locked in the basement after school and on weekends for three to four weeks as a form of punishment. It was not clear why the teenagers did not speak up sooner.

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