More charges added in Pa. basement-captivity case

December 19, 2011 - 10:55 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A woman accused of imprisoning disabled adults in a squalid Philadelphia basement is facing more charges in what authorities say was a violent scheme of abuse and oppression to fraudulently gain access to government benefits.

Linda Ann Weston entered a Philadelphia courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit for a preliminary hearing on charges filed after four mentally disabled adults were discovered behind a chained door in October. Prosecutors began Monday's hearing by adding more charges dating back to 2002.

Weston is charged with kidnapping and other offenses. Also charged are her daughter and two men police say preyed on young and infirm.

Prosecutors suspect the 51-year-old Weston had perhaps dozens of adult and child victims, including a 19-year-old niece police say was abused and locked in her daughter's closet.