The parents of four malnourished, non-verbal boys have been charged with several counts of abuse and reportedly have a history of child abuse that includes losing custody of three children. New details are emerging in the state of Colorado about Wayne Sperling and Lorinda Bailey's parenting.
Police opened this latest investigation in late September, after Bailey took her two-year-old son to the hospital for treatment of cut on his forehead. Doctors alerted authorities to the fact that the child could not speak, was not clean, and smelled like cigarette smoke. Denver police, along with Denver Human Services, went to the residence and discovered just how bad the situation was.
One officer noted "the strong odor of a decomposing animal" coming from inside the home. He also reported five cats running freely throughout the apartment, defecating everywhere and no designated space for the children, ages 2, 4, 5, and 6.
"The officer noted the children appeared to be non-verbal and were making 'infant like noises' to each other," authorities wrote in their affidavit. "The officer noted he could not determine any age or developmental difference between the three children."
All four children were taken into protective custody and evaluated by doctors. Bailey insisted that none of the boys had any developmental delays and could communicate with her just fine. However, authorities have not been able to fully speak with the boys since taking them into custody.
Bailey and Sperling, who claimed to be the primary caregiver, were both taken into police custody and charged with four counts of felony child abuse – one count for each child. Sperling remains in custody in lieu of $5,000 bond, but Bailey was released on bond. They both appeared in court on Tuesday to fully learn of the charges brought against them.
However, Bailey told police that she and Sperling previously had three children taken away form them in 2009. They were both charged with misdemeanor child abuse in 2006 and three years later pleaded guilty to those charges. It's unclear what happened to those three children, expect that they were place in protective custody. At that time the children were three-months-old, 2, and 4.
Bailey and Sperling were ordered to take parenting classes and Sperling was ordered to undergo a mental-health evaluation, but the Associated Press reported that it's unknown if they actually fulfilled those requirements.