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Courts & Trials

‘Feral Child’ Saved from Sex Abuse as Virginia Man and Woman Are Sentenced to Serve 108 Years

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From left: Robert Clark and Samantha Simmons
Rockbridge Regional Jail

A brother and his half-sister were sentenced Tuesday in Virginia in what the prosecuting attorney described as the most disturbing sex crime he has ever encountered.

“There’s no other way to describe this than as a family orgy,” Jared Moon, the chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney for Lexington city and Rockbridge County, Virginia, reportedly said during his closing argument.

Robert Eugene Clark, 39, and 30-year-old Samantha Simmons were accused of sexually abusing two young girls.

Clark entered an Alford plea to his charges in December, while Simmons pleaded guilty, according to officials. (An Alford plea is a form of guilty plea in which the defendant maintains their innocence.)

After their convictions, 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.

Combined, the siblings were sentenced to serve 108 years.

In September 2015, local agencies responded to a neighbor’s call about the home where the defendants lived with the two girls, about 4 and 8 at the time, according to courthouse officials.

Social worker Peggy Sigler testified in court, describing the girls’ deplorable conditions.

“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.”

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The Roanoke Times reports that the youngest girl spoke “gibberish,” which could only be interpreted by her older sister when the pair was rescued.

According to the Times, the younger girl was described by Sigler on the stand as “a feral child” who spoke just two words: her sister’s name and “no.”

The children were placed in foster care and, officials tell PEOPLE, they are in the process of being adopted.

Officials said the abuse spanned three generations. A third family member, who also took part in the abuse, has died since the trio was charged in 2015, authorities said.

“I’ve been here 39 years and this has been the most disturbing and disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in the courtroom,” Rockbridge County Circuit Court Clerk Bruce Patterson tells PEOPLE.

“This is not typical Rockbridge County,” Patterson says. “Rockbridge County is a very quiet, beautiful, rural area in Central Virginia.”

The prosecutor and the attorney for Clark and Simmons were not immediately available for comment.