A Kuna couple are in the Ada County Jail on $150,000 bonds after deputies say they fed two trapped teenagers just rice and water for weeks at a time. It was part of a psychological punishment routine that put the kids in danger over the past four years, authorities say.
Brian K. Bracy, 38, is charged with felony injury to child. His wife, Melissa Louise Bracy, 34, is charged with aiding and abetting felony injury to child.
The teens were taken out of the home last month, but the parents werent arrested until Wednesday, after they were indicted by an Ada County grand jury. The children were placed in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Sheriffs reports do not indicate where they are now. The Statesman isnt reporting other details about the children because, in general, it tries to limit reporting details that identify victims of child abuse.
In cases of mental abuse, there are no bruises no obvious physical signs of mistreatment, Kuna Police Chief Kody Aldrich said Thursday. Yet the damage done to these children is just as harmful.
We credit people living near this family for being willing to come forward and say, Something isnt right. These children may be in danger. As a direct result of those neighbors, these kids are out of an abusive environment and in a safe place.
Ada County sheriffs deputies who provide police services for Kuna were contacted by a third party on June 16. Deputies went to the Bracy home in the 500 block of Franklin Street that day and found evidence that the teens were allowed to leave their rooms for only a few minutes a day.
Deputies said they had to talk to the teens through the windows of their rooms windows that were covered and shut for an hour before they would come out.
Investigators said teens were punished if they tried to grab any other food to eat, Ada County sheriffs spokeswoman Andrea Dearden said.
Deputies said one of the teens was being home-schooled. The other went to public school but was forbidden to eat any food there and was punished for violating that rule, according to reports.
Officials say the parents had five video cameras monitoring the home. If the teens left their rooms, they were punished some more. They were not allowed to have books or other materials in their rooms, and violating that rule also brought punishment.
Each punishment extended the time the kids were to remain in their rooms, officials said.
The teens told detectives they were punished and confined to their rooms for weeks at a time intermittently after moving in with their father about four years ago. They said the last few months were particularly bad. Deputies said there was evidence that the teens considered hurting themselves.
Detectives sent the results of their investigation to Ada County prosecutors, who presented the case to a grand jury.
The Bracys will make their initial court appearance Thursday afternoon and are scheduled to enter pleas in front of 4th District Judge Richard Greenwood on Tuesday.
The crimes of felony injury to child and aiding and abetting felony injury to child are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr