Utah parents charged after chaining daughter with autism to bed

Posted at 8:20 AM, March 7, 2024

PROVO, Utah (Scripps News Salt Lake City) — A Utah mother and father are facing child abuse charges after their daughter with autism was found chained to a bed in the home.

The mother and father are both charged with one count each of abuse or neglect of a child with a disability, a third-degree felony.

Scripps News Salt Lake City is choosing to not disclose their identities as it would also identify the victim in this case.

The Provo Police Department stated the parents were arrested after officers visited the home and found an 8-year-old non-verbal child chained to a bed by their ankle.

Arresting documents detail the Utah Division of Child and Family Services visited the home and witnessed the couple’s daughter chained to the top level of a bunk bed in the living room of the home.

Officers arrived and told the father to unchain the child and, “he initially rebutted but then pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked the padlock,” documents state. After the chain was removed, officers witnessed impressions on the child’s skin from the tightness of the chain.

The father agreed to speak with officers, admitting that this was not the first instance of the child being chained to the bed.

“He stated that every night for the last three months approximately, he would chain victim to the bed by the ankle from the approximate hours of 20:30 (8:30 p.m.) to 6:30 (10 hours),” arresting information reads.

Additionally, the father said when he and his wife were gone from the home, they would chain their daughter to the bed and leave a key with an older child.

“During these times victim is mostly left unsupervised while chained,” documents read.

Arresting information also notes that the parents had signed agreements after a previous incident agreeing to not chain up their child anymore.

Provo officials reported that a warrant was obtained to remove all five children living in the home.

The parents were ordered to be released from the county jail on conditions including that they would appear for court proceedings and avoid contact with the victim(s).

This story was originally published by Scripps News Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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