Mother who locked girl, 12, in a closet for a year goes to prison... but she'll be freed in two weeks

'Inability to cope': Leticia Ines pleaded guilty to locking away her daughter after school for a year

'Inability to cope': Leticia Ines pleaded guilty to locking away her daughter after school for a year

A mother has admitted locking her 12-year-old daughter in a closet every day after school in Texas for about a year, only letting her out to use the bathroom and to eat.

Leticia Ines was sentenced to one year in prison but a judge granted her time served, meaning the 41-year-old could be free as early as March 1.

Ines pleaded guilty Monday to one count of injury to a child.

Her lawyer, Alfredo Padilla, said during the court hearing that Ines, of Brownsville, confined her daughter for her own protection because the girl had psychological issues and had tried to stab her brothers.

Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos said: 'Fortunately there was no physical injury. The issue was more of a gross lack of parenting skill and the defendant's inability to cope with a special needs child,' the Associated Press reports.

Ines was arrested in January 2010. Investigators at the time said the girl looked so malnourished that she only appeared to be about eight-years-old, and that she completed her homework by light coming through the crack of the closet door.

The girl also used a bucket in the closet if she had to go to the bathroom overnight, authorities said.

According to court documents, the girl denied that she had been abused or threatened.

A medical examination also showed no evidence of abuse.

The girl and her brothers have been placed with a foster family, Villalobos said.

Prosecutors described Ines as now being homeless and jobless.

Shortly after her arrest last year, police said the girl's brothers aged 11, 15 and 17 were aware of the mistreatment but said they were too afraid to report it to authorities.

The girl's plight only came to light when one of the boys reported it to school officials.

Investigators found fleece quilts on the cement floor of the wardrobe.

Cupboard girl

Disgrace: The cupboard where the youngster was hidden away for a year

By the blankets, there were pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a notebook and the white bucket.

There were a few sun dresses hanging on a rack in the small room.

Children’s scribbles and a few little stars drawn with magic markers adorned the walls.