In Need of Care

Hearing delayed a 6th time for parents accused in girl’s abuse

The preliminary hearing for parents accused of abusing a 14-year-old girl they fostered and then adopted has been continued a sixth time, court records show.

The parents were scheduled to be in court Wednesday, but their lawyer asked for a continuance, which prosecutors and a judge granted. The hearing now is scheduled for Dec. 23.

The father faces three counts of child abuse, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated endangerment of a child, one count of criminal restraint and one count of criminal damage to property. The mother faces the same charges with the exception of criminal damage to property.

The parents also face a trial in a child-in-need-of-care case filed on behalf of the girl and three other children.

The parents, released from the Sedgwick County Jail in June on $150,000 bond each, are accused of abusing the girl from the time she was 9. The parents took her in as a foster child and later adopted her after her biological mother neglected her.

Prosecutors have accused the parents of beating the girl – who weighed 66 pounds when police removed her from the home – with a foam hard-core bat and a broken curtain rod “whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death” could have been inflicted, according to court records.

The child-in-need-of-care petition alleges that the parents at times chained the girl in a windowless basement room with an alarm on the door and gave her a bucket to use as a toilet.

The parents have denied the allegations.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SGCountyDeb.

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