The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a Lakeland man and woman early this morning on charges of aggravated child abuse when they were contacted by the Department of Children and Families with allegations that a mother had chained her two sons to their beds at night.
According to the affidavit, Karen Abe, DOB 5/3/68, of 7737 Glen Meadow Drive in Lakeland, affixed her 13-year-old and 15-year-old sons to their beds with chains and padlocks each night when she went to work, in an effort to prevent them from getting out of the house at night and committing crimes. The chains, 8-foot-long each, were attached to each boy's bed with a padlock, and around the right ankle of each boy with another padlock. The 13-year-old was close enough to the bathroom to use the facilities, while the 15-year-old was provided with a 1-gallon empty milk jug.
The boys were attached to their beds in this manner from 11:00 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. each morning for two nights. The boys' stepfather and Karen's ex-husband, Allen Abe, lives at the residence and was there while the boys were chained. The 15-year-old ultimately told his probation officer about the situation, who in turn reported it to D.C.F. officials. D.C.F. then called the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies arrested Karen Abe and her ex-husband, Allen Abe, DOB 6/6/41, early this morning without incident. They have both been charged with 1 count felony Aggravated Child Abuse, and are being held on $5000 bond. They have a 6-year-old son in common who also lives at the residence. All three boys have been taken into protective custody by D.C.F.
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A text only version of this release is also available.