The sentencing brought a close to one of Camden County's most disturbing crimes, known as the "den of horrors."
Howard Gregory, 50, committed his crimes by keeping his children isolated, with little exposure to the outside world. He accomplished that through years of physical and psychological torment, regularly beating, raping, burning and cutting the girls.
Gregory also tied the girls up with extension cords, spit the drug Xanax into their mouths and watched them bathe."We lived each day in horror. We lived each day in hell," said Shakira Chi, as she stood in a quiet courtroom just a few feet from Gregory, her stepfather."What I have endured by the hands of Mr. Gregory no animal should have to experience let alone any man, woman or child."
Gregory's other victim, his 24-year-old biological daughter, added the abuse was something no one should ever experience, especially by their own father.
"The moment I left the hands of Howard, my life began," said Felicia, who asked that her last name be withheld.
Chi said she was first sexually abused by Gregory at age 9 while her family was living in Richmond, Virginia. At 14, she became pregnant with the first of her five children Gregory would father.
He later started abusing Felicia when she was a teen.
The girls received no help from their mother, Janet A. Robinson, who was escorted from the courtroom Thursday before the sentencing began. Robinson repeatedly attempted to talk to her daughters even though there is a no-contact order in place.
"It's not true. It's not true," yelled Robinson, who pleaded guilty to witness tampering last year.
In a previous report, Chi described her stepfather as a "master manipulator." He controlled every facet of their lives, putting cans on the doors to alert him if they tried to leave and nailing the WINDOWS shut.
They even had to get permission to open the refrigerator.
During the sentencing, Assistant Prosecutor Lauren Pratter called the crimes "horrific" and "heinous." She asked Camden County Superior Court Judge Edward McBride Jr. for a 60-year prison term, the maximum sentence allowed.
"What (Gregory) did to his own children is indescribable," Pratter said.
But Gregory, who legally changed his name to Seven Moon, claims the abuse allegations are a lie. He too was thrown out of court Thursday for shouting at the judge that facts in the case were inaccurate.
"You, the prosecutor and my attorney are all working together to railroad me," Gregory shouted. "I'm innocent and I'm being wrongly convicted."
Gregory added during his allotted time to speak that he "apologized for my family who created and caused a systematic malfunction due to perjury."
"Even though you guys created a gigantic disaster in my life ... I would like Felicia and Shakira to know and fully understand that I forgive them for what they have done, also for all the internal pain I have been (through) and am still going through," Gregory said.
The earliest Gregory could be released from prison is 2049.
He was convicted on four counts of second-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, simple assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and third-degree terroristic threats, according to COURT RECORDS.
Reach Phil Dunn at (856) 486-2456 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
on Twitter @philmdunn