A couple’s “joke” of posting Facebook photos of their duct-taped children led to their arrests and child abuse charges, reports azfamily.com.
Kayla, 20, and Frankie, 19, Almuina are accused of binding their 2-year-old and 10-month-old children’s wrists, ankles and mouths in duct tape, and posting the pictures on Facebook.
One of the children was reportedly hung upside down by the feet from an exercise weight machine, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.
Although they claim that the pictures were a joke, Coconino County Sheriff's officers say it was more malicious than a harmless prank.
"There was fear on the children's faces in the pictures," Commander Rex Gilliland told azfamily.com. "I don't know how anybody can rationalize taping a child's mouth and then binding their hands and feet."
The couple's photos were brought to the authorities' attention after one of Kayla's Facebook friends anonymously reported them to Arizona's Child Abuse Hotline.
Although Kayla's Facebook friends were not required to report the abuse, Arizona law requires a person who is responsible for the care and treatment of a minor to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. If you reasonably believe a minor is being subjected to child abuse, you can reach the Child Abuse Hotline at 888-SOS-CHILD (888-767-2445).
If convicted of child abuse, the Almuinas could face several years in prison since committing a "dangerous crime against children," including child abuse, is a class 2 felony offense.
In addition, they face the very real possibility of losing custody of their two children. Both of the toddlers are currently being taken care of by a relative.
- Find a Phoenix Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Child Abuse Laws State-by-State (FindLaw)
- Dad Charged with Battery for Bound, Gagged Facebook Photo of Child (The Chicago Criminal Law Blog)