An Appleton, Wis. Couple has been accused of starving their infant daughter over fears that the child would become obese.
The couple, Christopher and Mary Sultze, is being charged with a felony count of child neglect as their young daughter gained only 5 pounds in the 14 months following her birth.
Prosecutors say that the couple ignored doctor’s orders and neglected to properly feed their child, allowing their infant daughter to “essentially starve.”
The girl was born in July 2010 weighing little over 8 pounds but in more than a year she failed to gain enough weight to appear on growth charts for her age.
Doctors began expressing concern for the child when her parents brought her in for her routine four-month check-up and the infant girl weighed a mere 7 pounds, 9 ounces, less than at birth.
In August, a doctor said the girl was starving and that her “muscle mass was being consumed by her body.”
Authorities said that the baby’s father, 35, expressed irritation at doctor’s orders to properly feed their child saying that he did not want to have obese children. The parents insisted that that infant would get fat under hospital care.
Mr. Sultze underwent bypass surgery due to a blocked artery when he was 25 years old and told police that his family followed a strict diet as a result.
Brandt Swardenski, the attorney representing Mrs. Sultze told The Associated Press, “I have serious reservations about whether there’s any criminal activity here or just misguided parenting intentions.”
Mrs. Sultze has been previously charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct for biting one of her children on the arm.
The couple has three other children and of their four kids only the infant is currently in foster care.