Authorities: Man pleads guilty after years of racially motivated, violent abuse of stepdaughters

Justin Ladd pleaded guilty to 32 counts in connection with years of abuse he inflicted on his two stepdaughters. —Lawrence District Court

A 35-year old man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he tortured and sexually abused his two stepdaughters over a five-year period because their father is Dominican, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

Justin Ladd repeatedly demanded his stepdaughters dance like monkeys, threw them against the wall, hit them with a hammer, twisted their tongues with pliers, and exposed his genitals, authorities said. Ladd told the girls, who are now 15 and 17, that they would be raped and killed by the Hell’s Angels if they disclosed the abuse to anyone, according to authorities.

Ladd painted Nazi symbols on the walls of the family’s North Andover home, ordered his stepdaughters to give him the Nazi salute, and covered his own body in “white power’’ tattoos, according to prosecutors.

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“While there is no amount of jail time that would reflect the utter depravity of the defendants’ conduct, this agreement spares the victims the additional trauma of a trial,’’ Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. “As for these young women, who are true survivors, I hope that hearing these people who inflicted such horror admit their guilty, helps them to understand that what happened to them was not their fault.’’

Ladd pleaded guilty to 32 separate counts, including indecent assault and battery, open and gross lewdness, assaulting a person because of their race, and assault & battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors said Anne Ladd, the girls’ mother, witnessed at least a portion of the abuse. She pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment of a child as well as two counts of permitting bodily injury to a child for which she has care and custody.

Justin Ladd was sentenced to four to five years in prison, and will also be required to register as a sex offender and have no contact with either victim.

Anne Ladd was sentenced to five years probation. Should her daughters want to see her, Ladd will be permitted to visit with them under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families, authorities said.