Mom allegedly used shock collar on disabled children
By Michael McFall
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Sep 26 2013 01:01AM
Prosecutors have charged a Cache County woman with using a dog shock collar to punish two of her adopted special-needs children.
The 52-year-old woman, who lives in Mendon, was charged Wednesday in 1st District Court with abuse or neglect of a disabled child, a third-degree felony, as well as abuse of a vulnerable adult, child abuse and tampering with a witness, which are misdemeanors. If convicted for the felony, she could face up to five years in prison.
The woman has nine adopted children, said Deputy Cache County Attorney Andrew McAdams. One of them, a 17-year-old girl with special needs, disclosed to student aids at her school that her mom uses "a behavior band" on her, McAdams said. She had trouble describing the band, but drew a picture for the aids that looked like a dog’s shock collar, he added.
"She explained her mom put it on her [arm] when she’s acting up or when she hits one of her siblings," the attorney said. "She also disclosed that her 20-year-old brother, also a disabled adult, also adopted, that [their mother] puts it on him as well."
The daughter later came back to school and told the teachers that she had made up the whole story, but then broke down and explained that her mother told her to come back and lie to the teachers, McAdams said. The daughter also disclosed that the mother is trying to adopt another child and had been saying that the daughter was ruining the chances of that happening, he added.
The Division of Child and Family Services has a pending case, but it was unclear as of Wednesday afternoon if the children have been removed from the home.
McAdam’s said there no indication the collar has been used on the seven other children.