Two adult siblings from Bloomington have been charged with using handcuffs to punish a 7-year-old boy repeatedly for several months.
Richard Carlisle Underwood, Jr., 49, and Quinette Marshay Underwood, 46, have legal custody of the boy and an 8-year-old girl. The Hennepin County attorney's office charged the two with malicious punishment of a child.
The adult siblings allegedly disciplined the boy by handcuffing him to a table in the living room and to a weight set.
The alleged abuse was reported to police after the girl told her summer school teacher in mid-July that the boy had been handcuffed to a weight machine. The girl said the abuse began on Christmas and continued until the end of the school year.
The girl told police that, in one incident, the boy had been handcuffed and wet his pants because no one released him to use the bathroom, according to the criminal complaint. She also told police the boy had been handcuffed for stealing bread.
The boy showed the weights to police and "described one occasion when the cuffs were too tight and cut him," the complaint said. The boy said that Richard Underwood, Jr. would sometimes uncuff him to use the bathroom.
Richard Underwood, Jr. "admitted that 'someone' in the household" had handcuffed the boy to the table as punishment for stealing bread, and that on occasion he had removed the handcuffs so that the boy could use the bathroom.
Quinette Underwood initially denied any knowledge of handcuffs in the house, then acknowledged that the children had some "plastic play handcuffs," and eventually admitted that she had steel handcuffs in her bedroom, the complaint said.
She initially denied using the handcuffs to discipline the boy, but later said that she and her brother had done so, according to the complaint.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to one year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.