HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Leona Biser has pleaded guilty to Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person and Abuse of a Care Dependent Person for housing her adult handicapped sister in a wooden cage and providing her little to no medical care.  Following her plea of guilty, Washington County Common Pleas Judge Gary Gilman sentenced Biser to up to 23 months in prison, followed by two years probation.

“What Leona Biser did to her sister is unforgivable, but today’s plea is a step towards justice,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office fights to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Anyone found neglecting or abusing another human being in Pennsylvania will be charged and prosecuted for those crimes.”

After being charged and released on bail on January 15, 2020, Biser was jailed in August of 2020 for failing to appear for a court appearance.

Biser’s sister, Loretta Lancaster, was discovered by OAG agents in November of 2019 locked in a small, dirty wooden cage in the living room of her family home. When confronted, Biser admitted that she had been Lancaster’s primary caretaker since the death of their mother in 2018.

Since being removed from Biser’s custody, Lancaster’s condition has improved significantly: she has regained some mobility, recovered from medical conditions that were caused by living in a cage, and has begun working with a speech therapist.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte of the Office of Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecution Section and Deputy Attorney General Aaron McKendry of the Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Section prosecuted the case.

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