The parents of an 8-year-old Omaha boy found apparently malnourished and bruised this week were charged with child abuse Friday.
Stephen Bauer, 37, and his wife, Megan Finlan, 32, each was charged with two counts of child abuse causing serious bodily injury, a felony. Both had initial court appearances Friday afternoon.
Bauer has been suspended from his job as program director for the Nebraska Family Support Network.
The child suffers from a raft of mental health issues, including illnesses that caused him to eat his own stool and vomit, said Bauer’s attorney, Nedu Igbokwe, who also serves as president of the Family Support Network’s board of directors.
A preliminary hearing for each was scheduled for Nov. 30. Bauer and Finlan each was assigned $150,000 bail. Each would have to pay 10 percent, or $15,000, to be released from jail. Both were forbidden from having contact with any child under the age of 19.
Police were called to Florence Elementary, 7902 N. 36th St., about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a possible case of child neglect, a police spokesman said Thursday.
Prosecutors said Friday the boy’s parents had withheld food from him at home and that he had been locked in his room for days at a time, forcing him to urinate and defecate on his floor. At school, he would eat food out of the trash can and would lick other kids’ plates clean.
The child’s teeth appeared to be nearly disintegrated, prosecutors said. He weighed 32 pounds, well below the weight of an average 8-year-old boy, which is about 56 pounds.
Igbokwe responded that the child had severe behavioral disorders, some involving vomiting and defecation. His parents only kept him in his room to keep him from treats when he misbehaves, Igbokwe said