Couple sentenced in child abuse case

Date: 2011-07-13

OCONTO - A husband and wife have learned their punishment in an extreme neglect case.

In Oconto County court Wednesday, David and Jan Carpenter received five years probation. They will also have to spend 14 days in jail, the same number of days the girl they adopted from Guatemala spent in the hospital.

During the sentencing hearing, the judge admonished the Carpenters for their treatment of the child.

"When it comes to the care of a child and their health and their life it's inbreed with us that we do it right the first time and when you don't, that's why you are charged with the crime of child neglect resulting in bodily harm," said Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael Judge.

According to court records, the Carpenters brought the child, who was almost three-years-old, to their home in the Town of Little River in November of 2008.

About 11 months later, the Oconto County Department of Health and Human Services was investigating the suspected abuse and neglect of the girl.

According to a criminal complaint filed against David Carpenter in March of 2010, the child was taken to the hospital. A doctor there told Child Protective Services she looked "like a concentration camp survivor."

Court records say the child weighed about 21 pounds, but had weighed 23 at adoption nearly a year earlier. Doctors also reported she suffered from unexplained bruising and severe malnutrition.

The complaint says Health and Human Services officials took the child from the Carpenter home because of her emaciated condition, her injuries and lack of medical care.

A second child was also removed from the home.

Earlier this year, the Carpenters accepted a plea deal.

In addition to probation and jail time, they cannot have contact with the children or foster family taking care of the kids.

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