A Fayetteville couple is facing child abuse charges after police say they punished an eight-year-old boy by handcuffing him to a table for several hours a day and starving him for months, according to CBS affiliate 5NEWS.
33-year-old Melissa Miranda and 28-year-old Josue Tovias were arrested on Saturday for kidnapping, permitting child abuse, second degree domestic battery, first degree endangering the welfare of a minor, aggravated assault on a family or household member, first degree terroristic threatening and tampering with physical evidence.
Miranda, who is pregnant and has four other children, stated in a probable cause affidavit that she singled her son out for punishment because she was jealous that her mother loved him more than her.
Miranda said her son refused to stay in timeout and stole junk food from the kitchen, so she and Tovias began handcuffing him to a school desk in their living room between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., according to the affidavit.
Police said DHS has taken custody of the children.
Miranda and Tovias were being held Monday at the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bonds. Both have hearings set for February 28 in the Washington County Circuit Court.
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