WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Court TV) — At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, a Florida man convicted of aggravated child abuse, false imprisonment, and child neglect for locking his adopted son in an 8X8 box in the family garage was sentenced to 60 months in prison.
Tim Ferriter faced up to four decades in prison for keeping the teen boy in a windowless room for extended periods. The child had no control over the lights or air conditioning and was forced to use a bucket for a toilet.
TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS: FL v. Timothy Ferriter: Boy in a Box Trial
An emotional Ferriter addressed the court at his sentencing, telling the court, “I have failed.”
The victim in the case also testified at the sentencing, telling his father that he still loved him.
Ferriter, 48, opted not to testify on his own behalf and remained stoic throughout the trial, even as he was found guilty of all charges against him. However, he shook uncontrollably at a hearing during which he asked to be released from jail prior to sentencing.
The boy, known publicly only as “RF” to protect his identity, is now 16. He testified at trial, stating that being locked up was “dehumanizing” and “like genocide.”
RF’s sister was also a witness and told the jury that she witnessed Ferriter abuse her brother.
In the weeks leading up to trial, Ferriter rejected a plea deal offered by the state that included a two-year prison sentence followed by five years’ probation. That deal was contingent upon Ferriter’s wife, Tracy Ferriter, accepting the same deal.
Tracy will face a separate trial. A date has not yet been set, and it is not yet clear if she will be offered a plea deal.
Ferriter, who was out on bond for the duration of his trial, was immediately remanded to the custody of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department upon conviction.
The judge sentenced Ferriter to five years in prison and five years probation. The first two years of probation, he will not be allowed to have any contact with the older three children, unless the children desire it. Ferriter was also ordered to complete an anger management class, a parenting course and get a mental evaluation.