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Army couple facing child abuse charges

An Army major and his wife have pleaded not guilty to allegations of child abuse levied by a New Jersey court. The pair is mounting a criminal defense against the charges, which accuse them of beating their foster and adoptive children, leaving them without medical assistance and appropriate nutrition.

Authorities report the couple is facing a total of 17 counts, some of which include assault and endangering the welfare of a child. A 22-page document presented at the arraignment accuses the man, age 37, and his wife, age 35, of working together to abuse three foster children who they ultimately adopted. The abuse reportedly occurred from 2005 to 2010. There are also allegations that the couple trained their biological children to participate in the abuse. The couple's natural offspring were discouraged from reporting the abuse.

One of the couple's adopted children died in May 2008.

The state has already terminated some of the couple's parental rights, and family services is seeking to remove their natural children from their care, as well. The indictment accuses the couple of assaulting the children with various objects and causing fractures that were never treated. Some of the children were also prohibited from drinking water for extended periods, preventing them from receiving important nutrients and hydration. This deprivation, along with force-feeding salty foods, left one of the children with a life-threatening illness.

The couple could each face up to 10 years' prison time if convicted of these charges. They are currently out on bail, but they are prohibited from interacting even with their natural children during their release. Attorneys for the couple say the family is a loving Christian household that has been unfairly targeted by the state.

Criminal defendants should consider seeking assistance from qualified attorneys to help with their legal troubles. An attorney can help you learn more about your rights and responsibilities during various trial phases.

Source:  www.nj.com, "Army major, wife accused of abusing 3 children plead not guilty at arraignment" Jason Grant, May. 09, 2013

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