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Woman charged with locking up, assaulting special needs children will remain in jail

FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS – A woman accused of locking up and assaulting seven special needs children inside a Fort Bend County house will remain in jail after she was granted a free bond during a hearing Thursday. 

Paula Sinclair has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping. According to court documents, Sinclair intentionally or knowingly caused bodily injury to four victims by striking them with a board or bat, officials said.

Thursday during a hearing Sinclair's lawyer asked for a bond reduction, but that request was denied. 

Her bond has been set at $225,000, officials said. 

In November 2016, Sinclair was arrested and accused of leaving seven special needs children malnourished and in deplorable conditions at a Richmond-area house.

The children, two 14-year-olds, four 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old, were locked in a filthy, bug-infested room that smelled of human waste, according to investigators.

The children told investigators they risked being beaten if they tried to escape.

The state took custody of the children after Fort Bend County officials said they found them inside the home.

Sinclair will have another court hearing April 12 and her attorney will again ask for a bond reduction. 

Allen Richardson, a man who also lived at the house, also faces charges and was indicted on multiple charges on Feb. 27.

Richardson's next court appearance is April 10 at 1 p.m.