Authorities here are telling the horrific tale of four years in the lives of a young boy and three girls who allegedly were molested, beaten, injected with cocaine and served a diet of fried rats and boiled cockroaches.
Gerald Hill, father of two of the children and stepfather of the others, faces 1,200 counts of abuse. His apparently estranged wife, Barbara, was charged last week with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault - with more expected soon from a Cook County grand jury.
The accusations are based on independent accounts given by the children last summer to therapists at Mount Sinai Hospital. They examined the youngsters after a relative - who was caring for them under state supervision - reported that the children had been acting strangely.
The children, now ranging from 5 to 12 years old, were smearing feces, cutting up clothes and making sexual advances to an infant, according to sources familiar with the case.
The attorney for Gerald Hill, 52, said his client denies all charges in the indictment.
Barbara Hill, the 41-year-old mother of all four children, reportedly spent much of her welfare payments on drugs, authorities said. According to a state report, she has been hospitalized twice for treatment of schizophrenia.