Boy (12) locked in dog crate by mother: charges filed

Boy (12) locked in dog crate by mother: charges filed
Krems public prosecutor’s office is investigating attempted murder.
Image: APA

This is now with the regional court, said authority spokesman Franz Hütter on Thursday in response to an APA request. No further details were given. The boy’s 32-year-old mother was investigated for, among other things, attempted murder. A 40-year-old possible accomplice was considered a contributor.

There was also the suspicion of torturing or neglecting minors, younger or defenseless people and depriving them of their freedom. Hütter did not provide any information about the accused or the offenses covered by the charges. It was pointed out that the document must first be delivered to those affected.

The boy’s body temperature was only 26.8 degrees

The 32-year-old is said to have beaten, tied up, gagged her son, among other things, and repeatedly locked him in a dog crate for hours from the beginning of September to November 2022. She is also said to have let the child starve. On November 23, 2022, the boy only had a body temperature of 26.8 degrees and was in a coma. A social worker is said to have called the rescue team. The child was taken to a clinic. The health condition later improved. According to media reports, hospital staff and a teacher may have previously informed the authorities.

The mother was placed in custody in autumn 2022. At the beginning of March, the 40-year-old was arrested as a possible accomplice and was also taken into custody. The woman could have given the 32-year-old instructions. There were also charges against a police officer, but not in connection with the tormenting of the child. According to media reports, this is the 40-year-old’s ex-partner. It was said that he might have helped the woman cover up her actions. The investigation against the man was closed in August – and is now legally binding, said defense attorney Klaus Ainedter on Thursday.

Criticism of the authorities was raised several times in the media. The child and youth welfare service emphasized that an immediate check of the internal processes after the case became known showed that “all requirements were adhered to”. A six-member expert group was set up by the state and began its work in August. According to Lower Austrian State Councilor Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig (SPÖ), the independent commission should review legal regulations, processes and interfaces and make any suggestions for improvements. A final report is expected for January 2024; there will be no interim report.

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