Hyde Park couple charged in felony child abuse case
Parents of a small child who was reportedly expressing both suicidal and homicidal thoughts were charged with child abuse this week, nearly a year after the Division of Child and Family Services contacted police to file a report.
Craig and Paulette Boersma of Hyde Park were each charged in 1st District Court on Monday with one count of intentionally inflicting serious physical injury on a child, a second-degree felony child abuse charge that carries a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison.
During the investigation, the child allegedly told police that he had been locked away in a room where he was left to sleep naked on the bare floor with just one blanket. The boy, who was 7 at the time, was not allowed to have carpet in his room because he has been known to eat the carpet and to urinate on it, court records say.
The child told police he was not always allowed to use the restroom and his parents allegedly used ice-cold showers to discipline him.
According to information in a search warrant affidavit, Paulette Boersma later told police that they used a camera system with a live feed and they communicated with the boy using a speaker and microphone if he waved his arms at the camera.
The Boersmas were both booked into the Cache County Jail on Sept. 6 last year and released on bail while the investigation continued.
Cache County prosecutor Spencer Walsh said the child was removed from the home, which let investigators take their time and perform a thorough investigation.
One piece of the investigation included an evaluation of the child to determine his condition. According to Walsh, the child suffered severe psychological and emotional harm and failure to thrive as a result of food deprivation.
“My understanding is the child’s health has improved dramatically,” Walsh said on Tuesday.
A court date has not yet been scheduled.