Judge To Rule On Sentencing For Abusive Parents
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 17, 2004
OSHAWA, ONTARIO--Three years ago, a tip from a relative led police and child-care workers to a farmhouse where they rescued two teenage brothers with disabilities from horrific conditions.
Investigators later learned that the brothers, who were considered hyperactive and may have fetal alcohol syndrome, were subjected to "near torture" for a period of 13 years while they lived with their adoptive parents. The boys told of being beaten, tied to their beds, handcuffed and locked overnight in a makeshift cage. They said they were forced to wear diapers because they couldn't get to the bathroom, and that they were in such fear of being punished for soiling themselves that they sometimes ate and drank their own wastes, the Toronto Star reported.
The teens, now age 17 and 18, were not named in order to protect their privacy. The Star noted that they are in foster care and are attending high school.
This January, the boy's adoptive parents pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and neglect.
During a pre-sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Crown attorney Soula Olver told Ontario Court Judge Donald Halikowski that the mother should receive a sentence of six to eight years behind bars, and that the father should get three to five years.
Defense lawyer Alex Sosna portrayed the mother as simply having a 6th grade education and poor parenting skills, and the father as being a kindly gentleman. Sosna argued that the mother should receive a 12 to 15 month sentence, and that her husband should serve just six months.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 5.
"Parents who caged boys deserve prison, court told" (Toronto Star)