HASTINGS, Minn. - Prosecutors are accusing an Eagan couple of neglect and excessive punishment involving the care of their teenage son.
Gregory and Angela Danner are each charged with two gross misdemeanors in the case.
A criminal complaint issued in Dakota County details the alleged neglect and abuse of the 15-year-old boy. Police say the teen told them that Angela Danner, his mother, and Gregory Danner, his step-father, had removed his bed and lights from his bedroom, and used foam to block outside light from seeping into the room as a form of punishment.
The boy also told authorities that the Danners often forced him to do between 1,500 and 2,000 pushups per day, wall-sits that last between 20 minutes and an hour, and also regularly made him run outside for several miles in frigid conditions.
"He was basically treated like he was a recruit from the Marines," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. "But, to be honest, even Marines get a cot and a pillow to sleep on with lights in their room."
Prosecutors also allege that the Danners forced the boy to eat in his room, existing on a diet that consisted mainly of peanut butter sandwiches. They allegedly had a video camera in the room so they could monitor the teen's every move. The boy told detectives the only time he could come out of the bedroom was when he had to use the bathroom, or to complete chores or exercises.
The boy described feelings of anger regarding how his mother and stepfather were treating him, and has caused him to feel as if he wanted to hurt them.
If found guilty, Angela and Gregory Danner each face a maximum of 1 year in jail.
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