NEW BOSTON, Texas -- A married couple facing numerous charges of kidnapping and sexual assault have both pleaded guilty to kidnapping and received five years each in the Texas Department of Corrections.
William Clarence Ashcraft, 67, and Mildred Ann Malapelli, 66, pleaded Sept. 12 in Bowie County's 102nd District Court, said attorney John Delk, who represented Malapelli. Ashcraft was represented by a Bowie County public defender.
All other charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence, Delk said.
The five years incarceration will include credit for time served, Delk said.
The couple were indicted in 2021 in the alleged abuse of their daughter and son.
The District Attorney's Office has also filed a notice of intent to use extraneous offenses on Ashcraft and Malapelli. This includes evidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts allegedly committed by the defendant against the victims, the previous relationship between the defendant and the children, and character conformity.
The couple, who were arrested in May 2021, also are accused of injury to a disabled person involving their daughter and their son.
The indictments allege the pair's daughter and son were kept in "unsafe and unsanitary" living conditions, were not provided adequate nutrition or medical care, that their movements were restricted, and that they were subjected to physical and/or sexual abuse.
The daughter told officers she had never been to school or to a doctor and that Ashcraft kept her from leaving the house, according to the indictments.
The indictments also accuse Ashcraft and Malapelli of injury to a disabled person by omission. A person can be guilty of a crime by omission if he or she is aware that a crime, such as child abuse, is occurring and does nothing to stop it when there is a duty to do so, such as being the victim's parent.