Waukegan man who locked up 'possessed' daughter deemed unfit to stand trial

  • Randy Swopes

    Randy Swopes

Updated 8/20/2018 4:00 PM

A Waukegan man accused of locking his 10-year-old daughter in a basement because he claimed she was demonically possessed was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial or understand a plea deal by a Lake County jail psychiatric doctor.

That means Randy Swopes, 48, will go through a fitness hearing to determine if he can continue with his trial or if he should be sent to a mental health facility. Judge Mark Levitt said the fitness hearing would be set Tuesday.


Swopes, who is acting as his own attorney, also tried Monday to convince Levitt to review his bond in order to be released from the Lake County jail. Levitt said all proceedings are on hold until after the fitness hearing can be conducted.

Swope's mental fitness came up after he accused specific Lake County judges and lawyers of being part of rituals that involve drinking blood and sexually assaulting children. Swopes has also admitted in court he was sent to a psychiatric health facility in the past.

Swopes and his wife, Katherine, 49, were charged with child endangerment and unlawful restraint July 17 after police officers discovered the Swopes' 10-year-old daughter was forced to live in the basement of a single-family house on the 200 block of Liberty Street, authorities said.

The Swopes told investigators they locked up the girl because they believed she was "possessed by a demon," police said.

Authorities said the child had little interaction with humans, only limited access to the outside, and was forced to shower using a bucket. Authorities also said the girl was given six Christmas presents that were dropped off in the basement that she opened alone in the dark.

Randy Swopes remains in jail on $750,000 bond. Katherine Swopes has been released from jail on a $25,000 signature bond. Despite her release, she remains on 24-hour curfew, is prohibited from having drugs or alcohol and is not allowed to have contact with her husband, the victim or her three other children, who are ages 7, 13 and 15.

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