Twin sisters who endured years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their father said they hope he dies in prison for locking them up in what has been dubbed a “house of horrors” in south Minneapolis.
“He hurt, used and abused the whole family,” one sister said through a victim-impact statement read aloud in court by her legal guardian. “I hope he never gets out of jail.”
The woman said she hoped her father, Jerry L. Curry, would spend the rest of his life chained up the same way he had chained his two daughters, who have developmental disabilities, to their beds and door.
Hennepin County District Judge Fred Karasov sentenced Curry Wednesday to 30 years in prison for crimes committed against the women starting when they were teens, and for endangering his third daughter, a juvenile. The term is longer than recommended by state guidelines due to the nature of the crimes.
“Judge, I wish you could give him life in prison because he ruined my life,” the second twin said in another victim-impact statement read aloud by the same guardian.
The twins, now 22, were not present for the sentencing. Their younger sister provided a written statement to the court that was not read aloud.
Curry, 52, pleaded guilty last week to one count each of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree assault and gross misdemeanor child endangerment. Six other counts were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Curry’s attorneys, William “Butch” Selman and Brenna Rahmlow, said their client pleaded guilty to spare his daughters from having to testify in court.
“He did not want to go to trial and have to put his daughters through that … trauma, so he ended up agreeing to the offer from the state,” Selman said. “He’s glad it’s over.”
Curry was arrested a year ago on accusations that he sexually and physically abused his twin daughters, fathering children from one of them in 2014 and 2017.
The twins were regularly raped, beaten with bats and chained for days at a time without food. One victim’s ankles developed gangrene and had to undergo surgery because the chains were too tight, court records show. Clinicians who examined the women determined they had been subjected to abuse that was “clinically diagnostic of torture.”
One twin said in her victim-impact statement that she underwent five surgeries because of her father’s abuse. Curry admitted in court to hitting one of his daughters so hard she went blind in one eye.
In a series of missed opportunities, records show that police had visited the family’s home more than 50 times, several times in response to reports of domestic violence. The girls told county child welfare workers as far back as 2013 that Curry beat them, but he was only charged in 2018 after one of the twins escaped in May 2017 and alerted authorities.
Police searching the family’s home found Curry inside wearing only a shower cap, his youngest daughter naked and what authorities called a “sex chamber” with sex toys and pornography playing.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Cheri Townsend commended the women for their courage in seeking help, and said they were both willing to testify in court against their father.
“They were particularly vulnerable,” Townsend said. “That is why this case is especially egregious.”
But, Townsend said, the women also showed a “tremendous amount of strength.”
“These victims have come back from an abusive situation like few I have seen,” she said. “They were ready to do this. They were ready to come in and testify, and they overcame a lot to do that.”
Curry apologized when given an opportunity to speak before he was sentenced.
“I’m sorry for what happened with my daughters,” Curry said. “God forgives me. I hope they can forgive me one day.”
Karasov was unmoved.
“It seems kind of hollow to me,” Karasov said of the apology. “[The abuse] went on for quite a while.”
Afterward, Curry’s attorneys said their client was also low-functioning and has a “cognitive disability.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Curry deserved the long sentence.
“What he did to his daughters is just unfathomable,” Freeman said. “We’re just sorry it went on so long, but we think there’s really justice in here.”
Curry has to serve two-thirds of his time before he is eligible for release. He was also sentenced to 10 years of conditional release after serving his prison term, and will have to register as a predatory offender for 10 years.
The victims’ mother, Shelia M. Wilson, 49, pleaded guilty last September to felony criminal neglect and is scheduled to be sentenced in March.