A 52-year-old mother of nine in Utah is being charged with allegedly using a shock collar, a device meant for the training of dogs, to punish her two special needs children, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The woman of Mendon, Ut. in Cache County, who has not been named by the media, was charged Wednesday with "abuse or neglect of a disabled child, a third-degree felony, as well as abuse of a vulnerable adult, child abuse and tampering with a witness, which are misdemeanors," and could face up to five years in prison.
"[The woman's 17-year-old daughter ] explained her mom put [the dog's shock collar] on her [arm] when she's acting up or when she hits one of her siblings," Deputy Cache County Attorney Andrew McAdams told the Tribune. "She also disclosed that her 20-year-old brother, also a disabled adult, also adopted...[their mother] puts it on him as well."
McAdams said that the girl went to school and told her teachers she had made up the story before breaking down and admitting that her mother had made her lie. The teenage girl also reported that her mother is trying to adopt another child and feels that the latest incident will ruin her chances.
The 17-year-old girl told police that her mother refers to the shock collar as a "behavior band," though according to McAdams, there is no evidence to suggest that the mother has used the device on any of her other seven children. The Division of Child and Family Services is currently looking into the case.
This isn't the first time that a parent has been accused of using a shock collar on their kids. Back in 2007, the Associated Press reported on a Tennessee man arrested for allegedly raping and abusing his children, regularly shocking them with a collar he also used for the training of his dogs, News Channel 5 reported.
Last year in Georgia, a 15-year-old girl told authorities that her adoptive parents, Diana and Samuel Franklin, had forced her to wear a shock collar and sleep in a chicken coop. The Franklins were arrested and charged with 20 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, as they had used the shock collar several times on the girl, according to the Huffington Post.