This is a horrifying story. We don’t have all of the details, so we aren’t certain yet which parts of it are fact and which parts are simply allegations. But we do know that a young boy was treated very badly, and will need a long time to recover physically from his ordeal.
According to court records, a Battle Creek boy was allegedly beaten, locked in a closet and denied food. The alleged abuse and neglect came to light on March 22nd, when four-year-old Maloyd Gaines was brought to Bronson Battle Creek. His mother told staff that he wasn’t eating. At the time his condition was so severe that medical staff were uncertain whether or not he would survive.
A CPS worker was called to the hospital that night to assess the boy’s condition. Police were also notified, and officers were sent to the family’s home to investigate. Officers say that the house was very dirty and there was hardly any furniture. There were no beds, no food, and only clothing and trash all over the floor. Officers also discovered a closet, soaked with urine and feces, where it was evident that someone had been forcibly contained. The closet had a lock on the outside that was placed high, beyond the reach of children.
Megan Schug, Maloyd’s 23-year-old mother, was arrested and charged with Second Degree Child Abuse. Schug’s live-in boyfriend, 35-year-old Issac Miller, was also charged. Assistant Prosecutor Tamara Towns had stated that she expects the charges to change as the investigation continues. Apparently the prosecutor’s office is planning to request First Degree Child Abuse charges.
Police say the home was filthy, and the children were badly treated.
At Schug’s recent preliminary examination, Detective Ryan Strunk testified about the condition of the home and the place where Maloyd was confined. “At nighttime they would lock him in the closet and sometime in the morning open the closet,” Strunk told the court. He also said that Schug had admitted to locking her son in a closet every night, but only sometimes letting him out the next morning.
Another admission Schug allegedly made during her police interview was that Maloyd was regularly denied food, and that he was forced to go to the bathroom inside the closet. After a time he was put in diapers, but these weren’t changed for days at a time.
When the CPS worker who had been called to the hospital gave her testimony, she said that Maloyd was “thin to the point of being sickly.” She also told the court that he had “abrasions and cuts and rashes all over his body. His toes were blackened and swollen and his hands also were swollen.” In addition to the signs of malnutrition and neglect, there were also numerous injuries, including open sores. However doctors haven’t figured out if the injuries are the result of neglect or of abuse.
We don’t know the story behind this tragedy, nor do we know what challenges this family was facing, but we do know that child abuse is a very serious crime, and the penalties reflect that. Under Michigan law, First Degree Child Abuse is a felony that can result in a lifetime in prison for anyone convicted. In this case, if the Judge allows additional charges, Schug and Miller are looking at the potential for serious prison time and the chance that they may lose parental rights to all of their children.
At The Kronzek Firm we often represent clients who are being investigated for, or who have been charged with, abuse or neglect. We have assembled a team of aggressive CPS defense attorneys who know what it takes to defend you against CPS and Child Neglect charges. We offer you a free initial meeting with one of these CPS attorneys where you can come in and confidentially talk about your case. All you have to do is call to set up that meeting by calling 866 766 5245.