WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The father of the 12-year-old boy found weighing 30 pounds was indicted for third degree felony child abuse Tuesday.
Russell Jaynes, 40, lived in the Toquerville home during the time his son was allegedly locked in a bathroom for up to two years.
"He has been charged with a lesser degree of child abuse for his level of culpability and recklessness in not acting sooner and not seeking medical treatment sooner once his son was rescued from the bathroom," Washington County Prosecutor Angie Reddish-Day said.
The boy's mother, Brandy Jaynes, 26, asked a judge to lower her bail Tuesday. She's accused of second degree child abuse for allegedly putting the boy in the bathroom.
Brandy walked court wearing orange stripes and handcuffs, as her attorney Edward Flint argued her bail is "excessively high." Reddish-Day asked the judge for no bail, citing the cruel nature of the child abuse.
"In my 20 years working with law enforcement as a prosecutor, I have never seen anything like it where the victim survived," Reddish-Day said.
Reddish-Day claimed the abuse started well before the 12-year-old was locked in a filthy bathroom, sometimes only being fed hot dogs or cereal every other day. Reddish-Day said the boy was first forced to sleep on a board in his room and tortured. Then, he was allegedly confined to a small shower, before given full range of a dark bathroom.
"The victim has spent the last two Christmases in that bathroom, listening to his family open up presents. He was not participating and did not get any gifts," Reddish-Day told the judge during the hearing.
Reddish-Day accused Brandy of having a camera that sent a live-feed of her suffering child to her cell phone. She's also accused of taking hundreds of photos of the abused child, which were found on Brandy's computer.
"He was taken out of school in the second grade. He is still operating in the second grade level. He is starting to thrive now. He is a very resilient child. He's actually very funny and engaging, really great kid," Reddish-Day said.
Brandy's lawyer claimed her husband, Russell, played a larger roll in the alleged abuse and she had a mental breakdown, preventing her from properly caring for the child.
"If she has a mental issue or had an emotional breakdown, she may not be able to reach that mental state to have acted intentionally," Flint said, defense attorney for Brandy Jaynes.
Flint argues the victim showed signs of severe autism, which is why he was placed in the bathroom. In court, the Reddish-Day said he acts like a normal child and is responding well to treatment.
The presiding judge chose not to change Brandy's $20,000 cash only bail.
More charges are expected as doctors continue to evaluate the victim's long-term health.
Russell filed for divorce since Brandy's arrest. The couple's three children remain in foster care.
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