In Need of Care

Preliminary hearing in alleged child torture case continued an eighth time

Photo illustration (May 15, 2014)
Photo illustration (May 15, 2014) The Wichita Eagle

The preliminary hearing for parents accused of abusing a 14-year-old girl they fostered and then adopted has been continued an eighth time.

The parents were scheduled to be in Sedgwick County District Court on Tuesday, but their lawyer asked for a continuance, which prosecutors and a judge granted. The hearing now is scheduled for March 12.

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, who is now 15, and three other children.

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.