A Pennsylvania woman was arrested and charged on Jan. 15 for imprisoning her older sister in a wooden cage. According to the state attorney general Josh Shapiro, Leona Biser, 51, allegedly committed false imprisonment by confining her sister, Loretta Lancaster, 53, in the man-made cell with only a dirty mattress.

“This defendant professed to be caring for her sister when, in fact, the home was in deplorable condition, had no running water, and the victim was not getting her prescribed medicines,” Shapiro said in a statement. “We fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves. And our agents have made sure the victim has received needed care and will no longer have to suffer daily living in a cage.”

Biser is charged with abuse of a care-dependent person, false imprisonment, neglect of a care-dependent person, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful restraint.

Lancaster was taken into care at a local hospital after her sister’s arrest. Once there, she required treatment for a urinary tract infection and Rhabdomyolysis, a condition that causes skeletal muscles to break down at a rapid rate. The official release states that her condition has improved greatly since her recovery by police, regaining a measure of mobility and working with a speech therapist.

Biser has waived her charges in the Washington County Court of Common Pleas, bypassing a preliminary hearing in her case. Lead prosecutor Patrick Schulte confirmed that Biser was aware of her rights before making the decision.

“When the vulnerable among us are neglected and no one is going to act, including the family members, the attorney general’s office will,” Schulte said.

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Representational image Getty Images/Jonathan Alcorn