The parents of a 14-year-old boy are being accused of child abuse after police say that the boy was living in an 8 ft by 8 ft structure in the garage. The child was fed leftovers, monitored by a security camera, and provided with a bucket to use for a toilet. The parents are now facing charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment.
According to police, the child was reported missing by her caregivers and told he had a history of behavioral issues. When police asked to see the child’s bedroom to look for clues, the caregiver initially denied them entry, but later acquiesced. She led the officers to another child’s room but eventually led officers to the 8 ft structure. Police noted that there was a mattress, school books, and a camera above the bed. When police asked why it was locked from the outside, she told them it was used for storage, but later said all of the children used the structure.
Eventually, the boy was tracked down and interviewed by police. He described a pattern of abuse that included physical violence against him by the male caretaker. Police seized the camera and found hundreds of hours of video of the boy being locked inside the makeshift cage.
A contractor who had done work on the couple’s home reported building the structure for the couple while they were still living in Arizona. The man reported the structure to the police because he believed it was unusual and almost certainly for the purpose of trapping someone inside of it.
How do you defend yourself from this?
The immediate aftermath of a news report such as this one is community outrage. No one will understand why caregivers would abuse a child. While some children may have behavioral issues that parents cannot successfully manage on their own, attempts like this to manage them using cruelty are illegal. The parents will likely not be able to present a defense that the child was a danger to himself or the other children in the house, because there are better ways of dealing with that other than solitary confinement, which is an extreme form of punishment even in prisons.
A defense attorney representing the couple cautioned the public not to rush to judgment. The couple believes that they have a defense to these charges, but they are not commenting on that defense as of yet. They will likely claim that the child was unruly, violent, or threatening and they used the extreme form of punishment to keep the other children safe.
That being said, they knew what they were doing was wrong which was why they tried to hide it from police after they reported the boy missing. At the present time, all of the children have been removed from the household while the caregivers have charges pending.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing serious charges, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and we can begin building your defense immediately.