As part of a plea agreement with Ada County prosecutors, Brian K. Bracy, 38, and his wife, Melissa Louise Bracy, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace and agreed to a two-year no-contact order with the two teens with no exceptions.
The only way the Bracys can have any contact with the teenagers over that 730-day period is if the teens want it, according to court records. They were also put on two years unsupervised probation.
Melissa Bracy, the teens stepmother, was granted a withheld judgment, which means if she complies with all terms of probation, she can ask for the guilty plea to be taken off her record.
Court documents for the misdemeanor charge say the Bracys maliciously and willfully disturbed the peace or quiet of (the teens) by offensive conduct by engaging in punishment which was unduly restrictive.
Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Cathy Guzman said Wednesday the plea agreement spared the teens from having to testify in a jury trial and accomplished the most important objective to get the teens out of the home and into a safe place.
When the couple was arrested in July, Ada County Sheriffs officials said confining the teens to their rooms was part of a psychological punishment routine that put the kids in danger over the past four years.
The teens were taken out of the home in June, but the parents werent arrested until a month later, 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 in June. Sheriffs reports do not indicate where they are now.
When asked about the arrests in July, Kuna Police Chief Kody Aldrich said, in cases of mental abuse, there are no bruises no obvious physical signs of mistreatment. Yet the damage done to these children is just as harmful.
Brian Bracy talked briefly with the Idaho Statesman Wednesday but declined to comment on the pleas.
Ada County Sheriffs deputies who provide police services for Kuna were contacted by a third party about the case on June 16. Deputies went to the Bracy home in the 500 block of Franklin Street that day and found evidence the teens were allowed to leave their rooms for only a few minutes a day.
Investigators said the teens were punished if they tried to grab any other food to eat. 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, 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. No information is available on why the teens moved in with their father or where their mother is now.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr