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Adoptive parents plead guilty to child abuse

Posted: 1:41 PM, Jul 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-09 19:43:05Z
Adoptive parents plead guilty to child abuse

Two adoptive parents pleaded guilty to child abuse charges Monday after investigators say they kept children in separate bedrooms that were locked from the outside.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department says Benito Gutierrez, 69, and Carol Gutierrez, 64, were arrested on three counts of child abuse each in February. They will be sentenced Sept. 20.

According to a news release from PCSD, deputies found four children in the home.



Investigators say 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 bedroom s were not. One bedroom had a bucket for a toilet, deputies say.

On Saturday PCSD says one of the children escaped from the home through a bedroom window. The agency responded to the 4100 block of North Flowing Wells Road regarding suspicious activity involving a child.

According to PCSD, the children went to the nurse's office at school to complain they were hungry. The staff did ask questions but never found that there was anything suspicious. On school days, the kids were given breakfast and lunch at school.



The kids were exposed to these conditions at such a young age, they thought it was normal. According to PCSD, the oldest was two years old when he was adopted. The two youngest weren't born yet.

The four children are related to each other, but not related to the couple who adopted them.

Below is more from the PCSD release: 

When deputies arrived, they discovered a male child had asked to use the phone at a Family Dollar store in the area. The clerk, noting the age and disheveled condition of the child, called 911.

The children were removed from the home immediately and the Department of Child Safety is involved. The investigation is ongoing.


"They are menaces:" Adoptive mother tells detectives why she locked up kids