A Genoa City couple were arrested on charges of child abuse and neglect. The child's father, Michael Donahue, and stepmother, Carrie Donahue, are charged with committing numerous crimes against a 12-year-old boy. .
Today Fox6now.com reported the criminal complaints against Mr. and Mrs. Donahue stated the abuse occurred in a Genoa City home, as well as a home in Bloomfield. According to reports, child protective service workers removed the boy and another child from the home in December 2013 after a man filed a report against the couple following a visit to the residence.
Criminal complaints accuse the Donahues of locking the boy in a “bedroom for 12 hours at a time, then yell at (the child) for urinating in the room.”
Police found photos on Michael Donahue’s phone of the boy in several unflattering situations such as “wearing a green wig, a pink and blue backpack, shoes and pull-ups, and the child appeared to be crying.”
The complaint alleges the "couple would not feed the child for days, the child would steal food, and for punishment, the couple allegedly would make him keep his hands in his mouth until his lips would bleed. One time, after not eating for four days, the child told an investigator he had to stand next to the dinner table and when everyone was eating in front of him, he got a plate and (Michael Donahue) dumped his plate in the sink and would not let him eat.”
In September 2013, the state became involved and started monitoring the situation after the boy’s school made a report. The school reported the "boy came to class wet, disheveled, dirty — at one time, they had to shower him in the school locker room and give him fresh clothes."
School officials state the boy “had the word ‘die’ written multiple times on both arms and he stole food because he was hungry. At the end of October, the boy was found at the school with a shoelace tied around his neck.”
Some concerned citizens are asking why it took so long to charge this couple? The Genoa City police state "it took time to interview 20 subjects and execute three search warrants."
FOX6 News asked police "how the child is doing now that he’s in protective custody. Officials say he seems to be thriving."
If the Donahues are convicted each are facing up to 12 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Child abuse and neglect is a growing epidemic in the United States. It's hard to rationalize, but statistics show a child is abused every 10 seconds and 5 children die each day due to violence and neglect. As heartbreaking as it is these statistics are increasing daily.
Learn how to protect your children from abuse by learning the signs and symptoms of child abuse. One local organization making a difference in the lives of children is Dreamcatchers for Abused Children. Dreamcatchers is a 501 (c) 3 Michigan based non-profit child abuse and neglect awareness organization, dedicated to educating the public on the signs, symptoms, statics, intervention, prevention to assist victims and survivors in locating the proper resources to help achieve and enable a full recovery. This amazing organization is ran by two moms on a mission to end violence towards children.
For more information on Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, visit their website at: http://dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com