Police are still gathering evidence in the case of a woman who kept the special needs kids she adopted locked up in a group home where they were neglected and abused. Paula Sinclair, 54, a state welfare worker is accused of keeping the 7 children under lock and key in the home of Allen “Coach” Richardson, 78, of Richmond, Texas. There they were kept in “prison” like conditions, locked in a filthy, bug-infested room day and night, and fed nothing but rice and beans. If they tried to escape they were beaten, and were also sometimes locked in a closet.
Sinclair and her husband, who has not been charged, adopted the five boys and two girls as infants. Of the children, two are 14-years-old, four are 15 and one is 16. Two of them are non-verbal: a boy with Down’s Syndrome and another who is blind. Police say all were malnourished and undersized for their age. Another of Sinclair’s adopted children, a boy who suffered from cerebral palsy, died at age 7 in 2011.
Sinclair received $540 per month in subsidies for each special needs child. Police also say she had an extensive criminal history, with arrests in Texas, California, Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey, on such charges as burglary, fraud, forgery, and theft. Sinclair and Richardson were arrested on felony charges that include aggravated kidnapping and injury to a child/bodily injury. The children are currently receiving hospital treatment and are being moved in foster care when they are released. Authorities are trying to keep them together and say that offers to adopt and care for the children have been pouring in.
[Photo: KPRC Houston]