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Judge denies release of records in 'Boy in Box' case


by Victoria De Cardenas

JUPITER, Fla. (CBS12) — We are exactly two months away from what could be a one-of-a-kind, high-profile criminal trial in Palm Beach County.

The Jupiter parents accused of child abuse and false imprisonment, Timothy and Tracy Ferriter, are fighting those charges in the case that’s come to be known as ”The Boy In the Box.”

And with two months remaining before jury selection, we expect a slew of motions, hearings, and decisions from the judge about what evidence will be allowed in, and what will remain under seal, in the bizarre family crisis that grabbed headlines in our area and nationwide.

In February 2022, Timothy and Tracy Ferriter were charged with false imprisonment and aggravated child abuse after authorities discovered they kept their 14-year-old son in a 8 x 8 box in their garage.

After reporting their adopted son missing, police were searching for him and they went to the Ferriter’s Jupiter home during their investigation, that’s when they discovered the box.

It was locked from the outside.

Inside, it was bare, with a mattress, a bucket to use as a bathroom, and a Ring camera. The footage from that camera might be used as evidence in the trial.

The boy told the cops he was forced to stay in there.

The Ferriters say the boy, who they adopted from Asia, suffers from RAD or "Reactive Attachment Disorder" and that he is troubled, violent, and dangerous.

Since his parents’ arrest, the boy has been in state care.

The Ferriter attorney has asked to use records from this period as evidence, to show the extent of his condition and how hard it is to treat.

The judge ruled that those records are protected and ultimately denied the request.

But the judge says the records prior to the Ferriters' arrest are available to the defense.

We’ve already done some reporting on the records from Arizona- from before the Ferriters moved to Florida.

Whether or not those records will be admitted, is still being considered.

Next week’s hearing will really give us a preview of what we can expect in the late September criminal trial.

There is a separate case in family court about the Ferriters' parental rights.

2023 Jul 21