Couple Enters ‘Not Guilty’ Pleas On Child Abuse Charges< < Back to
Two people who prosecutors say subjected two children to “torture” pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday.
David A. Wright, 36, of Pleasant Hill Road in Athens, and Amy L. Pond, 37, of Indiana, were arraigned by Judge George McCarthy. They are facing 16 counts each of child endangerment against Pond’s two sons, ages 9 and 11.
The two are accused of physically abusing the young boys between June 18 and June 25 because the children were not being respectful, according to accounts from Wright and Pond read in court by Assistant Prosecutor Zach Saunders.
“(Wright and Pond said) the children lacked respect and he was teaching them respect,” Saunders read to the court.
As punishment for the “lack of respect,” the two allegedly forced the children to carry logs, full gas cans and weights from one end of a yard to another.
“If they did not do it fast enough, they were forced to wear horseshoes around their necks,” Saunders said.
Saunders said the children told investigators about the punishments, and investigators witnessed bruising to the boys’ buttocks areas that was in various stages of healing.
Prosecutors are considering Wright to be the “main perpetrator” in the case, saying the abuse started only two days after he met the children.
The children are now with their biological father outside of Ohio, Saunders said.
Defense attorneys for both Pond and Wright asked for signature bonds to allow the pair to be released from jail. Pond is planning to stay in the state of Ohio and Wright is a resident of Athens and planning to stay, according to his attorney, Herman Carson.
Saunders asked for $100,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed in Pond’s case, and $150,000 with no 10 percent allowed for Wright.
McCarthy gave Pond a $100,000 bond with 10 percent allowed. Wright was given a $150,000 bond with 10 percent allowed. Both were allowed the oppportunity for release at a lower bond because of lack of prior record.
He also ordered mental health evaluations for the pair, and required that they have no contact with each other or the children.
A trial date for both was scheduled for Sept. 20.