Couple charged with abusing teen locked in basement
By Lisa Roose-Church
"The allegations included that at age 12 the boy was "being isolated," forced to eat different meals than the family and allowed to only "sit in corner of one room of the main home."
Criminal charges have been brought against a Livingston County couple accused of mentally and emotionally abusing their 16-year-old adopted son who created a family for himself using stuffed animals.
Livingston County District Court records show that a warrant has been authorized for Eric Corcoran and Angela (Angie) Corcoran of Deerfield Township on charges of second-degree child abuse.
Messages to the couple were not immediately returned Monday. It is unknown if they have an attorney.
Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt declined to comment, citing the ongoing criminal case.
Court documents filed in juvenile court allege the couple, both 43, isolated the teen in the basement of the family's Bennett Lake Road home.
"I just live my life in the basement," the teen told a worker with the Michigan Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services, according to court documents.
Christopher Nalley, who has been court-appointed to represent the 16-year-old, declined to comment about the nature of the case. However, he said he "supports" DHS' decision to remove the teen from the family home. The teen is now in foster care.
Bob Wheaton, a DHS public information officer, has said the department does not comment on neglect/abuse cases and would not release information on when or how protective services was notified of the alleged abuse.
According to court documents, protective services investigated allegations in May 2010, September 2011, May 2012 and February.
The allegations included that at age 12 the child was "being isolated," which included being forced to eat different meals than the family and being allowed to only "sit in corner of one room of the main home."
There are allegations Angie Corcoran "slapped" her adopted son's legs while he napped and that she struck him with a hanger, which broke, and that she held her adopted son on the floor with her foot. A CPS worker noted that Angie Corcoran "was not loving" toward her adopted son, who had no toys or decorations in his bedroom, according to court documents.
Protective services also noted that the matriarch, who had expressed a desire to dissolve the adoption, admitted that the family kept the door between the main living area and the basement locked. The family matriarch told protective services her then-adopted son can access the basement through an entry door, but he could not access the main living area until someone from the family gave him access, according to court documents.
In February, protective services again investigated allegations that the teen, now 16, was locked in his bedroom and rarely had interaction with the family. Protective services noted the boy's meals were left on the top stair and he was forced to eat alone in his bedroom as well as forced to urinate and defecate in a camper toilet placed in his living area, court documents alleged.
The protective services worker also noted that the teen's bedroom had a twin bed, but no sheets, blankets or pillows despite the basement being "colder than the rest of the house."
The family patriarch, Eric Corcoran, admitted to protective services that the door separating the basement from the main level of the home is locked and that the boy uses the camper toilet when no one else is home, according to court documents. The patriarch told protective services that his then-adopted son lashes out at people and steals things throughout the house, court records show.
Protective services workers noted that the teen indicated his adopted mother "tried to give him" to another woman, but that woman was too poor and could not take him. He also told protective services that his brother punched him in the gut and his sister held a shotgun to his face while yelling at him to leave the home, according to court documents.
The couple's then 14-year-old biological daughter told protective services that her adopted brother ruins the "silence and peace within the family" and that he ruined his relationship with the family when he killed the family's cat, court documents stated.
"I just want a loving family" who "will hug and kiss me," the teen said according to court documents.