York County father locked disabled daughter in shed; denied food, bed, deputies say

York County father locked disabled daughter in shed; denied food, bed, deputies say
Robert Ralph Hance (Source: York County Sheriff's Office)

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (Andrew Dys/Rock Hill Herald) - A Rock Hill father locked his disabled adult daughter in a shed and denied her food, water and hygiene, deputies said.

Robert Ralph Hance, 64, is charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult, according to York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris.

Hance refused to allow his daughter in the house when temperatures were in the 40s, deputies said in an incident report.

“He told her that she was dead to him and she needed to leave,” the incident report stated.

The victim was found by deputies outside the home after Hance left her and locked the doors, officials said.

Officers were told that the daughter at times had been locked in a storage shed without food, water, lights, or a bathroom, deputies stated. When in the shed, the victim told deputies that she received one meal a day and was forced to use adult diapers.

The victim “reported that she sleeps on the floor of a bedroom with no mattress, and the carpet is soaked in dog urine,” the report stated.

Three deputies who worked the case then went out and got a bed for the victim from a charity organization, and bought other items for victim, sheriff’s office officials said.

Deputies made contact with Hance who told officers that he was not letting the victim back in the house, according to the incident report. Hance was then arrested, deputies said.

Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult is a felony under South Carolina law that carries a potential sentence of up to five years for a conviction. Abuse of a vulnerable adult can be “physical or psychological abuse,” South Carolina law shows.

The victim was taken to Piedmont Medical Center for treatment and placed into emergency protective custody by officials from the sheriff’s office and the S.C. Department of Social Services.

DSS defines a vulnerable adult as a person age 18 or older who has a physical or mental condition that prevents them from providing for his or her own care or protection, according to the DSS Web site.

The living conditions of the victim remain under investigation by sheriff’s office detectives, Faris said.

Hance was released from the York County jail Wednesday after posting a $1,000 bond, court records show.