Steve Cothren, 47 years old, and Anna Mae George, 29, are accused of forcing an elderly woman to earn money for them by panhandling throughout this year in Butte.
“The victim is an elderly female, I think she’s around 65 years old and ultimately disabled. They would put her out there regardless of the temperatures,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.
Police allege the couple forced the elderly woman to stand out along the highway entrance ramp at Rocker and panhandle for money while they waited in a nearby vehicle and watched her.
“According to the officers that wrote the report, they saw the two suspects in the area every time they dealt with the mother panhandling. They would monitor her from a distance in a warm car while the mother was sitting on a cold curb panhandling,” the Undersheriff said.
Investigators further allege the couple used the woman’s Social Security money for themselves.
Both face felony charges of elder abuse.
NOTE: The initial report from authorities indicated that Cothren and George are siblings, but we have received information from people who say that they know the two suspects, and they claim that they are not siblings, but rather a couple, and that the elderly woman is the mother of only of them.