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Station pulls adoption show after child abuse charges are filed


Station pulls adoption show after child abuse charges are filed

April 11, 2004


SALT LAKE CITY -- A television network has pulled a show about the adoption of Samoan siblings after the adopting couple was charged with child abuse.

Scott Nelson, 32, a former Salt Lake County Corrections officer, and his wife, Catherine Kanani Nelson, 27, both of Roy, are each charged with one count of second-degree felony child abuse.

They are accused of forcing their son, now 7, to spend most of his time on a landing on a basement staircase, feeding him rotten food and putting him, naked or clad only in underwear, in a tin outdoor shed for punishment.

The Nelsons' adoption of the boy and his younger sister, completed through an out-of-state private agency, was documented in April 2003 by the Discovery Health Channel series "Adoption Stories."

The episode first aired in July 2003, and has been shown several times since then, said Laura Reimers, vice president of communications for the channel, in a statement.

"As soon as the network learned of the child abuse charges brought against the Nelsons, the episode was immediately pulled from the schedule and will not air again," Reimers said in the statement.

Defense attorney Gary W. Barr has said the abuse was not as bad as authorities claim.

Police say the boy's younger sister was not abused. Both children are now in state custody.

2004 Apr 11