Manchester Couple Charged With Child Abuse
The have been under investigation since a 13-year-old girl reported the abuse.
By JESSE LEAVENWORTH, email@example.com
The Hartford Courant
10:19 p.m. EDT, July 11, 2013
MANCHESTER — A local couple has been charged with cruelty and abuse of children in their care, including allegations that the three teenagers were slapped, punched and choked and, in one case, sexually humiliated.
Matthew Dumont, 46, and Melissa Dumont, 44, were arrested last week and were free Thursday pending separate appearances in Manchester Superior Court.
The investigation began in February, when a 13-year-old girl told a state Department of Children and Families official that she and her two siblings were "subjected to emotional and physical abuse on a daily basis," the warrants for the Dumonts' arrests state.
The two other children — a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl — suffer from mental and physical ailments, including autism, the warrants say. The three are not related by blood, police said, but their relationships to the Dumonts— whether adopted, foster or biological — was blacked out of the warrant affidavits. DCF spokesman Gary Kleeblatt said they were not foster children and not placed by the agency.
Over the past three years, police say, Matthew Dumont slapped the older girl, head-butted the boy and shoved him against a kitchen counter, knowing that the teen had painful back ailments. Dumont is charged with cruelty to persons, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace.
Melissa Dumont is charged with third-degree assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. She repeatedly dug her fingernails into the 13-year-old girl's hands and arms as a form of discipline and once stabbed the girl with a fork, according to allegations detailed in the warrant. On several occasions, Melissa Dumont also exposed her breasts to the younger girl and rubbed her naked breasts against the girl's back "with the intent to humiliate and/or degrade her," the arrest warrant states.
Although police say Matthew Dumont admitted he had slapped the older girl and may have pushed the boy against a kitchen counter once or twice, he also told investigators he was baffled about the allegations. Referring to the 13-year-old who made the initial complaint, Dumont described her as "an angry teenager who has her period," police said.
Although parts of his statements were redacted, Matthew Dumont told police that he and his wife have dedicated their lives to the children and "flew halfway around the world three times to [redacted] nobody wanted."
"I'm numb, crushed, demoralized. I can't believe this," he said, according to police.
The 14-year-old boy has been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and spinal ailments. The 17-year-old girl also is autistic and suffers from an unspecified psychotic disorder, mild mental retardation and progressive hearing loss, the warrants state. Because of their disabilities, the boy and the older girl "were unable to articulate any type of history surrounding their family situation," police said.
A medical examination of the 13-year-old showed multiple injuries, including scars and bruises, police said. Besides scratching her, the girl said, Melissa Dumont also choked her by wrapping her legs around the girl's neck, the warrant states.
The Dumonts responded that the 13-year-old and Melissa Dumont take karate lessons together and frequently spar. Confronted with allegations that she exposed her breasts to the younger girl and rubbed her breasts against the girl, Melissa Dumont said she meant to tease the teenager "about her slow development," police said.
"You know … it was more to the fact that do you want to see what you're missing … here you go. That kind of concept," Melissa Dumont said, according to the warrant.
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