Eagle Mountain couple charged with abusing adopted children

Date: 2010-04-07

PROVO — An Eagle Mountain couple has been charged with abusing their adopted children.

Gary Erickson, 59, and Leslie Erickson, 48, both face three counts of intentionally inflicting serious physical injury on a child, a second-degree felony.

Police arrested Leslie Erickson March 23 after doctors disputed the story she had told paramedics that her 5-year-old daughter had slipped on a bathroom rug and hit her head. The doctors said the girl's injury was not consistent with a fall.

The girl, who was adopted out of an abusive home in October, needed part of her skull removed to relieve swelling on her brain. The long-term effects of the injury are unknown.

The girl also had marks on her neck indicative of strangulation and bruises all over her body, investigators said.

A judge has ordered the removal of seven children from the Ericksons' home, pending an investigation.

Police said Leslie Erickson once threw her 6-year-old adopted son down the stairs, according to an affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

The children were forced to stand for hours in the bathtub if they wet the bed, and Erickson told detectives she also struck them with a belt, police said.

Leslie Erickson is in Utah County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bail. A preliminary hearing on the three felonies is set for April 27.

Her husband is due in court May 4 for his first appearance. He told police he also struck the children with a belt, according to the affidavit.

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