Cou­ple ac­cused of leav­ing 5-year-old boy in the woods as a pun­ish­ment

Texarkana Gazette - - NATION / WORLD -

ST. PETER, Minn.—A man and woman in south­ern Min­nesota are ac­cused of drop­ping off a 5-year-old boy in the woods as pun­ish­ment for wet­ting him­self.

Lynda Michel, 42, and Gre­gory Wil­son, 32, were charged Fri­day in Ni­col­let County Dis­trict Court with child ne­glect. Au­thor­i­ties say the boy is Wil­son’s bi­o­log­i­cal son and that Michel lives with him and the child.

The boy was found on Aug. 28 walk­ing along a high­way south of St. Peter, a com­mu­nity roughly 55 miles south­west of Min­neapo­lis, au­thor­i­ties say. He was cry­ing and wet from rain when a mo­torist spot­ted him. He told po­lice he had been dropped off by his “mom and dad” be­cause he had been “naughty.”

A man who was in the ve­hi­cle with the cou­ple and the boy told po­lice the man tried to talk the cou­ple out of leav­ing the boy, au­thor­i­ties say.

The cou­ple told au­thor­i­ties they turned around af­ter a short dis­tance but couldn’t find him. Po­lice found the cou­ple search­ing for the child, but the cou­ple hadn’t called to re­port him miss­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, of­fi­cers found “mul­ti­ple black and blue and red bruises” on the boy’s back, but­tocks and hips, in­di­cat­ing they had been caused over time, and Wil­son told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he reg­u­larly spanked the boy with an open hand. Wil­son also faces charges of gross mis­de­meanor ma­li­cious pun­ish­ment of a child and mis­de­meanor do­mes­tic as­sault.

The child was taken into pro­tec­tive cus­tody and is cur­rently in foster care, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments that don’t list an at­tor­ney for ei­ther Michel or Wil­son.

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