TUCSON, Ariz. - Two adoptive parents will serve probation after pleading guilty to several counts of child abuse.
A judge sentenced Benito Gutierrez, 69, and Carol Gutierrez, 64, in court Thursday. They'll serve 12 years probation each -- four years for each count of child abuse, to be served concurrently.
It started in February when one of the four children at the home came to a nearby Family Dollar store in conditions that made a clerk suspicious enough to follow the child home. A nurse at the children's school also told deputies the children recently complained of being hungry.
When deputies searched the home, they found a house set up to lock the children in their rooms.
Investigators said the children are between the ages of 6 and 12 and did not have access to food, water, or the bathroom for up to twelve hours at a time on a regular basis. The house seemed to be in good condition when officials entered, but the bedrooms were not. One bedroom had a bucket for a toilet, deputies said.
The couple pleaded guilty to child abuse charges in July.