An Oklahoma couple has been charged with child neglect after authorities discovered they kept their 4-year-old son in a wired dog cage for as much as 14 hours per day.
Jonathon Wade Lee, 31, and Suzanne Satterfield, 33, are currently being held on child neglect and abuse by injury charges at a local jail. The caged child was discovered by a social worker.
According to Lee, the family kept the child in the cage to “stop him from harming himself” and “when he was being disciplined.” After the boy learned to open the cage door, Lee would use a padlock to keep him locked inside.
The couple has two older children who told authorities that Satterfield had made a “big mistake” and that the punishment went “too far.”
Lee isn’t just facing neglect charges, the Oklahoma-native is also charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in a separate incident. The 14-year-old was one of the children living in the house, along with another 7-year-old boy. It’s unclear who their father is.
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton addressed the incident to the media, stating the obvious, that “Fourteen hours is a very, very long period of time. In this situation, 30 minutes is too long. We don’t keep kids in cages.”
“There is something about each child abuse case that stands out, that grabs you in a negative way,” Walton added. “All the things this little man had to endure it stretches the imagination to think anyone would make a judgment call to do this.”
The boy and both of his siblings are not being held in protective custody.