FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) - A Fond du Lac couple are charged in a child abuse case after authorities say the mother used a rolling pin, hunting arrow and other objects to beat two boys over several years and the father didn’t stop it.
Jeana Riehl, 46, was charged Thursday with five counts of child abuse and six counts of child neglect stemming from allegations that she hit her two adopted sons with objects that left swelling and made them bleed.
She’s also accused of withholding food and locking one of the boys in a bathroom for weeks, the complaint said.
Troy Riehl, 46, was charged with eight counts related to failing to protect the children.
They both posted bond and were released from the Fond du Lac County Jail on Thursday.
Jeana Riehl’s attorney, Anthony Nehls, had no comment Friday. It was not immediately clear whether Troy Riehl had an attorney. A call to the house went unanswered Friday and there was no option to leave a message seeking comment.
The Riehls also have three biological children in the home and one adult son who lives outside the home. The abuse was brought to the attention of authorities when one of the biological children reported it, the complaint said.
That child said the biological children in the home were rarely or never hit. The adult son said he had been abused in the past, but the two adopted sons got the worst physical abuse, the complaint said.
One child told police that Jeana Riehl hit the two boys with a rolling pin, cutting board, horse whip, spoons, and a hunting arrow. The child said she would walk into the boys’ bedroom and see blood on the walls and carpet, and that she would clean up the boys’ wounds.
One of the boys told police that his mother once hit him in the eye with a stick, causing a cut, and then washed it out with chorine water that hurt. The boy was also hit over the head with a rolling pin, and forced to stand in a corner and could have only water to drink for two days, the complaint said.
In addition, Jeana Riehl allegedly locked the boy in a bathroom for weeks and let him out for only one meal a day. He was forced to sleep in the bathroom without blankets or pillows, the complaint said.
The other boy told police he was once forced to stand in the cold garage in his underwear.
The child who made the report said Troy Riehl was aware of the abuse and sometimes told his wife things went too far.
The complaint said Jeana Riehl downplayed the abuse to police and said the kids were exaggerating. She told police she used objects to hit the kids because “the books” say a parent should use something other than hands, the complaint said.
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