'House of horrors' parents indicted for child abuse in Delaware

March 20, 2013 3:39:45 PM PDT
A couple from Newark, Delaware has been formally indicted on charges they locked their 12-year-old son in his bedroom for three months.

Robert Hohn, 42, and Shannon Watterson, 40, are charged with Child Abuse, Conspiracy, Unlawful Imprisonment, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

They were arrested in November 2012, after police say Hohn's 12-year-old son (Watterson's stepson) escaped the couple's home in the 100 block of Brookside Boulevard and sought help from a neighbor.

Investigators determined that the boy had been physically abused and was malnourished.

They say he had been locked in his bedroom for three months, and that Hohn and Watterson failed to feed him regularly, did not provide medical care and failed to provide adequate education.

The couple was charged with Child Endangerment because the alleged abuse took place in the presence of three other children living in the home.

Authorities say Hohn and Watterson are the first people arrested under Delaware's new child abuse statue.

"Our new child abuse statute is a powerful tool that we have used in this case and will continue to use to hold offenders accountable and better protect kids," said Attorney General Beau Biden in statement released Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Hohn and Watterson have been behind bars in lieu of $282,500 cash bail since their arrest on November 28, 2012.

The indictment charges Hohn with:
*1 count of Child Abuse 1st Degree (Felony)
*1 count of Assault 2nd Degree (Felony)
*1 count of Conspiracy 2nd Degree (Felony)
*1 count of Felony Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Felony)
*1 count of Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd Degree (Misdemeanor)
*8 counts of Misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Misdemeanor)

The indictment charges Watterson with:
*1 count of Child Abuse 1st Degree (Felony)
*1 count of Conspiracy 2nd Degree (Felony)
*1 count of Felony Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Felony)
*1 count of Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd Degree (Misdemeanor)
*2 counts of Child Abuse 3rd Degree (Misdemeanor)
*8 counts of Misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Misdemeanor)


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