SALT LAKE CITY — A Hyde Park couple who police say locked their 7-year-old son in a room for months and forced him to sleep naked and urinate on the floor has been formally charged in the case.
Prosecutors filed a charge of child abuse with intent to inflict serious physical injury, a second-degree felony, against both Craig Boersma, 38, and Paulette Boersma, 30, in Logan’s 1st District Court on Monday.
The pair were booked into the Cache County JailSept. 6 but posted bail and were released.
Spencer Walsh, Cache County deputy attorney, said Wednesday he filed the charges after a doctor at Primary Children’s Hospital reviewed the case and found the boy experienced severe emotional harm in the parents’ care and that food deprivation either caused serious physical injury or caused him to fail to thrive.
Last year, North Park police received a report from the Division of Child and Family Services that the parents were withholding the child’s meals and he had not gained any weight in a year.
The boy told officers he was locked in a room with no carpet, no bedding and no pillow for months, a search warrant affidavit unsealed in September states. “It was learned that he has suicidal and homicidal thoughts. (The boy) was currently thinking of harming his family along with himself,” according to the affidavit.
At the Children’s Justice Center, he described sleeping naked on the floor with a blanket and disclosed the room had no carpet because he would eat the carpet and urinate on it, according to the warrant. The boy said he was sometimes locked in the room for an entire day and wouldn’t be fed.
At the time of his parents’ arrest, the child and a younger sibling were removed from the home and placed under state protective custody, police said at the time. Police said there was no evidence the sibling was abused.
Paulette Boersma told detectives a camera system with a live feed allowed the parents to communicate with the child when he was in the room, the affidavit states.
If convicted, the couple could serve at least one and up to 15 years in prison. No attorneys for the parents were listed in court documents Wednesday.