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Ohio Stepmom and Biological Dad Accused of Years of Starvation and Abuse That Left Boy Looking ‘As If He Came from a Concentration Camp’


Amy Dangel (L) and Anthony Dangel (R) appear in mugshots

An Ohio woman and her husband are facing allegations of extreme child abuse that a local prosecutor reportedly remarked left the boy looking like he had survived a concentration camp.

Amy Dangel, 45, who also goes by Amy Rodriguez, stands accused of eleven counts of child endangerment over how she allegedly disciplined her 13-year-old stepson for three years beginning in 2018. Anthony Dangel, 43, the boy’s father, stands accused of child endangerment for creating a risk and failing to stop the alleged abuse.

According to the Cheviot Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement learned of the abuse in March 2021, and the boy’s ill-treatment went on into April 2021.

Citing court papers, Cincinnati-based CBS/CW-affiliate WKRC reported that Amy Dangel forced the child to stand in the corner for days at a time, withheld food, and refused to let him use the restroom.

“This is disgusting and senseless,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters reportedly said on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. “This is not a parent who lost control and made a mistake, but a woman who purposefully tortured a child for years. To do this to a child is beyond comprehension. There are some people who should simply never be parents. These two should never be permitted around children again, and we will do everything in our power to make sure that is the case.”

During an arraignment held via video on Tuesday, both defendants pleaded not guilty as an assistant district attorney shared additional details about the extent of the alleged child abuse.

Amy Dangel was additionally accused of beating the boy with belts and spoons. Authorities say that during one particularly egregious beating, the other children in the house were made to count out how many times the boy was struck with a wooden spoon. By the end of the beating, the children had allegedly counted to 75.

The stepmother defendant was also accused of intentionally declining to provide the boy with adequate clothing, sheets or blankets for years–and allegedly locked the refrigerator and cabinets in the house to keep him out. Those years of turmoil allegedly resulted in the boy weighing only 61 pounds when he was weighed at the age of 12.

“During the investigation, the assistant prosecutor described the boy as looking as if he came from a concentration camp,” WKRC reported.

The court report continues:

The assistant prosecutor said at one point, the children’s school tried to contact Amy about reports of abuse but she pulled the children out of that school.

The boy suffers from PTSD and has lasting damage to his legs, according to the prosecutor’s office. The assistant prosecutor says they can only hope the damage to him is reversible with treatment.

“There has been very severe damage done to this young man,” the assistant prosecutor said, according to WKRC’s report.

A defense attorney for the stepmother said the parents eventually sought treatment for the boy–drawing a rebuke from the ADA who said that such treatment only came after the boy ran away and was picked up by law enforcement.

The ADA did not mince words when describing the father’s alleged culpability during the couple’s arraignment.

“Personally, I find this defendant more reprehensible than the last because this was his biological child that he failed to protect,” she said.

In response, Anthony Dangel’s defense attorney did not raise objections to his son’s treatment for fear of upsetting and causing problems for his wife.

Amy Dangle is currently being detained in the Hamilton County Jail on $500,000 bond; Anthony Dangle is being held on $50,000 bond. Each defendant can post 10 percent for pre-trial release.

[images via Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office]

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