Conditions at Marietta unlicensed care home lead to 20-year sentence

A Cobb woman pleaded guilty Thursday to 47 charges, including false imprisonment, stemming from operating an unlicensed care home in Marietta.

Raequel Alita Penny, 43, of Austell, kept six elderly or disabled women in her home’s basement for varying amounts of time in 2013, said Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds. In addition to false imprisonment, Penny pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering, theft, deprivation and false statements.

She has been held without bond since April 1 and was sentenced Thursday by Cobb Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell to 20 years with 10 to serve.

The condition of the Laurel Springs Lane home and the treatment of the women kept there prompted stiffer penalties through the Georgia Legislature for operating unlicensed care homes. Reynolds said the women were not provided adequate food, shelter, medicine or bathrooms.

Reynolds reported the “rooms” were as small as 11 feet by 5 feet and were fashioned in the basement out of plywood.

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