A former Georgia Tech football player and his wife face child abuse charges for reportedly locking their 13-year-old son in a basement for nearly two years as punishment for stealing a DVD player. Recardo Wimbush, 33, who briefly played for the Atlanta Falcons, and his wife, Therian Cornelia Wimbush, who is 37, allegedly enforced this crazy, cruel consequence on Recardo Jr. because, they said, he was "wicked," had molested three of his younger siblings, and stole the family's DVD player and then lied about it.
The parents are said to be extremely religious people who follow the Yah faith and believed they were helping keep their oldest of 10 children on the "straight and narrow." I'm all for discipline, but the details of this boy's living conditions are beyond extreme and unhealthy and sad.
The young teen was reportedly kept away from his siblings and not allowed contact with them. All of the windows in the basement in which he was locked were blacked out, according to police, and the dwelling contained little else besides a mattress and plastic container he used as a toilet. The Wimbush parents reportedly homeschooled their children, but refused to provide an education for their son during the time he was being punished. They wouldn't even allow him books, reports say, never mind any other form of entertainment like toys, TV, or music.
The child was rescued thanks to an anonymous tip from a neighbor. It should be noted that police have found no evidence thus far that the teen molested his siblings.
The Atlanta couple, who are being charged with malicious and intentional cruelty to children and false imprisonment, have reportedly had all of their children taken away from them and have until the end of today to turn themselves in. When they appeared in family court a few days ago, they allegedly admitted to a judge that they punished Recardo Jr. because he was a "threat" to other children.
I feel sad for the young teen who, no matter how troubled he may be, does NOT deserve to be punished by being locked away from the rest of the world and denied access to the education he deserves. While some parents go so far in one direction NOT disciplining their children, others do not seem to know the difference between discipline with the goal of teaching a lesson and outright cruelty.
If they are found guilty, I really hope these parents are able to receive HELP in the form of parenting classes and counseling so that they can properly care for their 10 children and discipline them in a healthy way.
What consequence do you feel these parents should face if they are found guilty of locking their son in a basement?
Image via moronicbejesus/Flickr