A Washington County judge sentenced Leona Biser to up to 23 months in prison.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — A Washington County woman accused of keeping her sister locked in a wooden cage has pleaded guilty.

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(Photo Courtesy U.S. Attorney Scott Brady’s Office)

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday that Leona Biser has pleaded guilty to neglect of a care-dependent person and abuse of a care-dependent person. A Washington County judge sentenced her to up to 23 months in prison and two years probation.

Investigators say Biser kept her sister in a “man-made cell” that sat in the living room of their home on Sixth Street in Vestaburg.

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Officials responded to the home in November 2019 and found 53-year-old Loretta Lancaster in the cage kneeling alongside a baby’s bottle and a dirty mattress. The home had no running water, and Lancaster was not receiving her prescribed medication.

“What Leona Biser did to her sister is unforgivable, but today’s plea is a step towards justice,” Attorney General Shapiro said in a release. “My office fights to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Anyone found neglecting or abusing another human being in Pennsylvania will be charged and prosecuted for those crimes.”

“Since being removed from Biser’s custody, Lancaster’s condition has improved significantly: she has regained some mobility, recovered from medical conditions that were caused by living in a cage, and has begun working with a speech therapist,” the release said.

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After being charged and released on bail in January 2020, Biser was jailed in August 2020 for failing to appear for a court appearance.