LOGAN — A Hyde Park couple has denied neglecting and malnourishing their adopted son. Craig R. Boersma and Paulette Boersma pleaded “not guilty,” more than a month after they were bound over on charges of allegedly locking the 7-year-old boy inside a room for days with no bed or carpet, and forcing him to sleep naked and urinate on the floor.
The 39-year-old father and 31-year-old mother were arraigned in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. They were both arrested last summer and later charged with child abuse, a second-degree felony.
Defense attorney Melissa Fulkerson entered the pleas for both of her clients. She also requested more time to work out a possible plea agreement with prosecutors.
Judge Brian Cannell granted Fulkerson an extension. He ordered the Boersmas to appear again in court April 6.
According to North Park Police’s search warrants, officers received a report from the Division of Child and Family Services that the 7-year-old boy “was being withheld meals by the parents and that the child had not appeared to have gained any weight in a year. It was also reported that he was left in the same clothes for a long period of time.”
On Sept. 5, officers went to the house to interview the boy.
The alleged victim told officers that he was locked in a room with no carpet, padding, bedding, and no pillow for months. He described sleeping on the floor in the bedroom with no clothes, completely naked, with one blanket. He said that the room had no carpet due to he would eat the carpet and pee on it.
The boy also disclosed that sometimes he was locked in the room for an entire day and wouldn’t be fed. When he was in trouble, his parents put him in an ice cold shower, telling him, “I hope you remember how this feels.”
The Boersmas remain out of jail after posting bail. They could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The boy has been removed from the home and placed in the care of foster parents.