Shackled Girl: Part 3 – Prepared Statement by Alleged Abuser

Shackled Girl: Part 3 – Prepared Statement by Alleged Abuser June 1, 2016
Screen capture from 13abc News, Toledo, Ohio
Screen capture from 13abc News, Toledo, Ohio

by Propinqua

Editor’s note: For a year, a home-schooling Christian man named Timothy Ciboro allegedly disciplined his ex-girlfriend’s daughter by shackling her to a basement post. The girl, 13, escaped in mid-May. Timothy Ciboro, 53, and his son Esten, 27, were arrested in Toledo, charged with kidnapping and torture. The girl’s mother is now also jailed, but on unrelated warrants.

Alexis Means of 13abc News visited the Lucas County jail to interview Timothy Ciboro, who wanted to deliver a prepared statement. He enters the room somewhat confused, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs. My transcription comes from raw video of the May 24 interview:

Alexis Means (after introductions): Timothy, you actually wanted to make a statement to us. […]

Timothy Ciboro: First, I’m in fear for my life and my son’s life. Uh, let me think here. I’m in fear for both our lives every second of every day. There have been, you know, from both inmates and guards. I mean, so I’ll be surprised if I make it to trial. I mean, really surprised. Obviously I don’t sleep well. And I’m… had no contact outside of I think two phone calls I was able to make before the phone mysteriously stopped working.

Um, I would never, ever, ever commit suicide. So if I end up dead, then it’s not by my doings. I would never commit suicide.

Ninety seconds in, Timothy Ciboro has already hinted that 1) someone sabotaged the phone he was using, and 2) he and Esten will be murdered in jail, their killings faked as suicides. Although he complains of having “no contact,” this is his second media interview. The reporter now attempts to change the subject:

Alexis Means: Tell us… take us back to what happened when you got the phone call from the lady. Your daughter ran away.

Timothy Ciboro: Hang on. The last thing I want to say is, if I indeed do die while I’m in here, that Jesus Christ is my lord and my savior, so I know where I’m going. So, although I don’t want to die, I know where I’m going to spend for eternity. And it’s through the blood of Jesus Christ, Yeshua is his… Yeshua, Yeshua ha-Mashiach, God’s only son. Uh, and that was really the end of the statement.

Ciboro’s earlier interview, with the Toledo Blade, comprised a similar statement. Fear of jail is understandable, but his words suggest paranoia, delusion, and apocalyptic themes.

The TV interview does cover more topics in the ensuing twenty minutes. In his prepared statement, though, Ciboro expresses concern only for himself and Esten, omitting mention of the 13-year-old girl or her two younger half-siblings—all three now in foster care. Instead he offers his Christian testimony, stipulating that the Jesus he talks about is Yeshua ha-Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah). Does he think there is some long, confusing list of people named “Jesus Christ … God’s only son”? Does badly pronounced Hebrew somehow clear things up? How does his statement achieve Ciboro’s goal of drawing others to Jesus? Is it not outrageous for a man jailed on torture allegations to flaunt his get-into-heaven-free card?

Suddenly I’m hoping all the basements in heaven have security cameras. Sure, I know, nothing bad happens in heaven. But in Tim Ciboro’s mind, nothing bad happened to the 13-year-old girl in his Christian home; people are out to get him for no reason. I would be leery of a heaven that admits this way of thinking.

Part 1 Part 2


propinquaPropinqua is the Latin word for neighboring or nearby (singular feminine adjective). It is used in law and philosophy, and in the scientific names of plants and animals, such as the native bee Osmia lignaria propinqua.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • KarenH

    Flames. Flames on the side of my face.

  • He either has serious mental issues or he trying to get the charges reduce because of mental illness. Personally, I’m betting on the latter.

  • SAO

    Here’s the thing. People who believe in God often claim that they know what God thinks. If there is a God, my bet is there are unforgivable sins. Enprisoning teenagers, beating your kids, trafficking young girls and plenty of other things common to the CPM should be on the list.

    Michael Pearl, Timothy Ciboro, Vaugh Ohlman and their ilk can claim they live their lives to glorify God, but I suspect Satan is drooling with every word out of their mouths

  • Abigail Smith

    Exactly right.
    I am a believer but I don’t believe I can “speak for God”.

  • bekabot

    You know, this guy really could die in jail…he’s a child abuser, and that’s a crime which is treated with little compunction within the inmate community.

    As for his being in jail and in fear for his life…I try to feel compassion for him and I can’t, because he’s only suffering what he inflicted. He imprisoned his step-daughter for at least a year, possibly more, and she must have feared for her life at least a part of that time, because Mr. Ciboro’s most surefire way of making certain the story never got out would have been to rub out the bearer of the tidings, which would be her…and also to get rid of the evidence, which would also be her. And I expect that in many respects Mr. Ciboro’s has it better than his stepdaughter did…for one thing (I expect) he gets enough to eat. For this reason and for others, his plight leaves me cold. (Alas.) I hope Jesus has a more favorable opinion of him than I do, is all.

  • paganheart

    Sounds like someone needs to be on suicide watch.

  • texassa

    “It’s really scary that I am trapped in here and can’t get out and people are hurting me and I am scared. And I’m cut off from communication. It’s just terrible and scary and poor, poor me.” – Man who imprisoned young child and abused her and cut her off from outside contact.

    Sociopaths gonna sociopath

  • texassa

    There’s a fine line between “mentally ill” and “willfully sociopathic.”

  • Allison the Great

    It’s really awful when religion allows a person do to some really abominable things and think that they didn’t do anything wrong (because Jesus) and that they’ll go to heaven or not face punishment (because Jesus).

    The problem is that they have a “only GAWD can judge me” attitude and they don’t fear any retribution from their fellow man. When someone says “I only fear god” well god is arbitrary. The minds of god and the minds of believers are always the same, so of course they’ll do horrible things and think they can get away with horrible things. What’s stopping them?

  • Allison the Great

    It would never occur to him that what’s going on to him is exactly what went on with his step-daughter. He’s not capable of that kind of empathy. He probably sees this as persecution.

  • bekabot

    I don’t know that empathy has that much to do with it…because I don’t think you need much empathy to do this kind of basic math…which is why I prefer “he’s dumb” as a formulation. And he is dumb…it’s dumb to tie a girl to a post in your cellar and then act surprised and hurt when you get arrested once she gets loose…but then similar types of behavior are often adopted by much more intelligent people…so maybe there’s something to this “empathy” stuff after all. Hmmm.

  • Ms JT

    a heard a homily once where the priest was cautioning us on putting what we think as what Jesus is what Jesus would do, not what we would want Jesus to do…to many Christians do the latter instead of the former

  • I would make that presumption, but only so far as there are certain standards to which I would hold any Divine worthy of me and my time. If God disagrees with me, on those subjects to which I would presume to speak in Their name, then I am fully willing to stake my afterlife on the issue and invoke the words of St Huckleberry of Finn. “Well then, I’ll go to Hell.”

    That standard, the baseline on which I judge whether God is a worthy God, is whether the teaching causes harm to others, most specifically if the harm is caused to those who are unable to defend themselves, such as children. If children are harmed by something, then I will scream out that God condemns that thing, and if God disagrees with me, then God can go to Hell, or I will, because I’ll have nothing to do with a monster such as that.

  • Abigail Smith

    You are right. I wanted to clarify…I meant I can not speak for God where there is no clear distinction in scripture. As a believer, I believe we are to “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9…that would of course include children being abused. No one ever stood up for me when I was a kid being abused by my parents. I tried to tell my aunt and grandparents, but they wouldn’t listen.. The original comment from SAO was “People who believe in God often claim that they know what God thinks.” that’s what I was referring to.