Grandfather of malnourished Anderson teen pleads guilty in severe neglect case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Steve Sells

ANDERSON, Ind. (Sept. 8, 2015)– The grandfather of an Anderson teen who was found severely malnourished pleaded guilty to all the charges against him Tuesday.

Steve Sells pleaded guilty to 12 counts of neglect, confinement and battery, according to the Madison County prosecutor. He also pleaded guilty to welfare fraud, theft and perjury from an investigation by the Social Security Administration.

The charges stem from a case involving a mentally disabled 15-year-old girl who weighed less than 40 pounds when police found her. The girl was essentially locked away from the world, according to investigators. She was so thin that bones were protruding from her skin.

Sells, his wife Joetta and their daughter Crystal were all charged in this case. Steve Sells will be sentenced on October 5.

FOX59 News interviewed the teen’s biological mother in January. The woman, Jannifer Sells, did not have custody of the girl, and she said she had no idea her daughter was suffering alleged abuse while in the care of her grandparents. Steve Sells told police he was the girl’s legal guardian because his daughter had abandoned her.