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Crime Explainers

5 Things to Know: ‘Feral Girl’ and Her Sister Saved from Sexual Abuse in Virginia

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From left: Robert Eugene Clark and Samantha Simmons.
Rockbridge Regional Jail

In September 2015, local agencies responded to a neighbor’s call about a mobile home in the remote Arnold Valley section of Rockbridge County, Virginia, according to courthouse officials.

Investigators discovered a terrible scene of filth and violence at the home, where half-siblings Robert Eugene Clark, 39, and Samantha Simmons, 30, were sexually abusing two girls, about 4 and 8 years old at the time, authorities alleged.

This week, Clark and Simmons were sentenced to prison after he entered an Alford plea — a type of guilty plea in which the defendant maintains their innocence — and she pleaded guilty.

Here are five things to know about the case.

1. The Four Lived in ‘Subhuman’ Filth

Caseworker Peggy Sigler testified in Rockbridge County Court about the deplorable conditions at the residence.

“There was clothing, papers, trash, feces and cockroaches everywhere,” she said. “You walked in the home and the cockroaches would literally jump on you and crawl all over your body.”

One attorney reportedly called the environment as “subhuman.”

2. A Social Worker Described One of the Victims as ‘Feral’

“She was a feral child; that’s the only way I could describe her,” Sigler, a caseworker for the Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services, testified on Tuesday of the younger girl.

According to a story in The Roanoke Times, the girl only spoke “gibberish,” which could only be interpreted by her older sister when the pair was rescued.

Sigler said the younger girl could only say two words: her older sister’s name and “no.”

“She had no ability to verbalize what she was scared of or why she was screaming, but she was clearly fearful of something,” testified Lindsey Stocks, a family services worker, according to the Times.

3. The Siblings Were Sentenced to Serve More Than 100 Years in Prison

Clark was sentenced to 130 years in prison (with 65 suspended) on nine counts, which include rape, aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties, PEOPLE confirms.

Simmons was sentenced to 109 years in prison (with 66 years suspended) on 11 counts, which include aggravated sexual battery, sodomy and endangerment of a child.

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Combined, the pair was sentenced to serve 108 years. Their attorneys have not been available to comment.

“I ain’t denying it, but I don’t remember because I’ve got a short memory,” Clark testified on Tuesday, the Times reports. “I’ve hit my head so many times on stuff that I can’t remember half of the stuff I do anymore.”

4. Officials Say the Siblings Were Also Abused

“Deviancy to her became the normal,” Simmons’ attorney said in court, according to the Times. “It was as if she took a step outside of her body, saw this happening before her, and was powerless to stop it.”

Both she and Clark had been sexually abused in the past, the defense said, according to the Times.

When investigators responded to the call at the mobile home, there was a third family member who also took part in the abuse. He has died since they were charged in 2015, officials said.

5. Prosecutor: This Was an ‘Orgy’

“There’s no other way to describe this than as a family orgy,” Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jared Moon said during his closing argument, describing this case as the most distrubing he has seen.

“They were taught to perform sexual acts more so than they were taught to brush their teeth,” Moon said.

Both girls reportedly still bear the effects of their abuse, nearly two years after being rescued. But they are now recovering in foster care and, officials tell PEOPLE, they are in the process of being adopted.