It is way too often that we hear about children getting abused by someone who is meant to protect them; that someone can be a mother, a father, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle. The abuse can be in many different forms; mental, physical, emotional or sexual; it can be a combination of or all of these. This paper is about the abuse and torture of a young boy. This paper will tell how this case came to the attention of the authorities and discuss the crime, and who was accused, prosecuted and ultimately convicted of the abuse.
Sharon Glass met Michael Marshall 4 1/2 years ago. They dated a short time before Glass made the decision to move in with Marshall at his home on Barna Avenue, in Titusville, FL (Unknown, Woman found guilty on all charges in child abuse case, 2014). Glass had a 15 year old son and Marshall had a daughter, age 10 and a son, age 12.
The abuse of this young boy started years before the call to detectives on March 15, 2012. A former teacher of his, Rhonda Rochon stated, “She warned DCF and the police about the boy's condition in 2010 after the elementary school suspected Marshall and Glass were starving him”, DCF investigated the allegations and did not find any evidence of abuse (Unknown, 2014). The child had attended a number of schools until the fall of 2010 when he was withdrawn from the school system records (Vice, 2012) . It is likely that the parent’s withdrew the child from school to avoid attention from the authorities.
The abuse of this child probably would have continued if not for a family friend that took it upon himself to call detectives and describe to them the condition of the boy. Detectives were sent out to the house on Barna Ave. to investigate the allegations. One can only imagine the thoughts going through the minds of the detectives when they opened a locked bathroom door and saw an emaciated little boy lying on the floor. What did he do that was so wrong to deserve this? How long was he in here? The couple, according to Greg Pallone a reporter for Channel 13 News, was arrested on March 16th and charged with aggravated child abuse, and one charge of aggravated child neglect (2014). Florida Statue 827 states:
Aggravated child abuse occurs when a person: Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully or unlawfully cages a child…. Neglect of a child means: 1. A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care … and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition… services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child or 2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect … (Legislature, 2013).
The condition of the boy on March 15, 2012 was described as being malnourished, and dehydrated. The boy weighed in at 40 lbs.; seeing the pictures of him in this condition is heart wrenching. The skin was hanging loosely over the bones...