Gastonia couple gets probation for locking teen

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by The Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 11 at 11:56 AM

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) -- A Gastonia couple who locked a teen in his room for punishment has pleaded guilty to child abuse. 

The Gaston Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/VXz3bR) 41-year-old Johnny Rufus Dickson and 45-year-old Joy Evonne Skipper accepted a plea deal on a misdemeanor child abuse charge and a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

They've been placed on probation and been ordered to serve 48 hours of community service. 

The couple was arrested in June when a social worker saw the 14-year-old teen's living conditions. 

Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell says the teen was locked in his bedroom except when he went to school. He had a bucket in a closet for a bathroom. 

Defense attorneys said the teen had serious behavioral problems that prompted the couple's actions.

 

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