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Utah couple charged with abuse for allegedly chaining 12-year-old in basement
Updated: 2004-03-24 15:15

A couple who allegedly chained the man's 12-year-old son in the basement for two months _ freeing him only to eat and go to school _ has been charged with child abuse.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the couple's home after receiving a telephone complaint, said spokesman Sgt. Rosie Rivera. A sibling showed authorities a pair of handcuffs that he said were used to chain his brother in the basement, according to charging documents.

The abuse allegedly occurred between August and October.

Mark Gray, 40, and his wife Christina, 35, were being held on US$25,000 bail Tuesday.

The boy told authorities his father and stepmother kept him chained when he was not at school, and made him sleep on a small rug on the concrete floor. The boy said he was allowed to eat meals with the family, but wasn't given much food; deputies found a jar of peanut butter the boy had hidden.

Rivera said there were no indications of sexual abuse.

The boy has been living with a relative since Oct. 1; five other children have been living with a relative since the couple were charged Monday.

The delay in filing charges was due to the time it took for specialists to determine the degree of psychological injury to the boy, said Kent Morgan, a spokesman for the Salt Lake County district attorney's office.

A doctor determined the child suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and a disorder characterized by uncooperative and hostile behavior toward authority figures.

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