Krista Hudson, 31, tried to hide her face during much of Wednesday's arraignment. She is charged with 42 counts-- most relating to the abuse of her two children. Prosecutors say it went on for years.
"There is a period of four years recounted in the affidavit. The statute of limitations-- meaning how long we can prosecute-- is only three years," Windsor County Deputy State's Attorney David Cahill said.
The alleged abuse happened at the Hudsons' home in Ludlow. According to police, the mom would repeatedly beat the kids as punishment. And court papers state when the kids weren't getting hit, they were forced to stay in their rooms, only allowed out for meals, school and chores.
"The affidavit of probable cause sets forth multiple mechanisms by which the victim was hit, but the common thread was that it was always some form of hitting," Cahill said.
Richard Hudson, 48, Krista's husband, is charged with cruelty to children, specifically failing to protect them from abuse. Both pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
But it's alleged abuse of vulnerable adults that started the investigation. Police say the couple financially exploited, and in two cases assaulted people they lured to their Ludlow home with the promise of providing care. It was from that investigation and concern from several community officials that DCF began an investigation of their own.
"Any case involving children, the Department of Children and Families has a roll in insuring that those children are in a safe environment consistent with the rearing of a child," Cahill said.
Wednesday's charges are part of an ongoing investigation and investigators in Ludlow say additional charges are coming.
The kids are currently in state custody. Family members of one of the victims were in court but declined to speak about the case.