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Victim Likened to ‘Concentration Camp’ Survivor in Ohio Child Abuse Case May Have Been Abused Longer Than Previously Reported


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

The 13-year-old boy whom one prosecutor likened to a concentration camp survivor in an Ohio child abuse case may have been abused longer than suspected, court documents reportedly suggest.

Amy Rodriguez Dangel, 45, stands accused of 11 counts of child endangerment over a pattern of alleged abuse fashioned as discipline that began when her husband’s son was only 10 years old. Anthony Dangel, 43, was charged with one count of child endangerment for allegedly allowing the abuse to occur by never standing up to his wife.

As Law&Crime previously reported, the Cheviot Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and local prosecutors allege that Amy Dangel beat the boy, starved him, stopped him from using the restroom for hours on end and generally neglected his needs for three years while the boy’s father stood idly by and refused to intervene.

One prosecutor in the case previously said the boy looked as if he had left a concentration camp by the time he was rescued.

According to court documents recently obtained by Newport, Ky.-based Fox affiliate WXIX (which serves the broader Cincinnati metropolitan area), the allegedly abused child and his younger brother first came to live with their stepmother and father after their real mother, Lisa Dangel, passed away in January 2016. The boys’ grandparents on their mother’s side initiated a custody battle and were denied even visitation rights following Lisa Dangel’s death.

The children then remained with their father and his newer wife. Roughly two years after that tragedy, the abuse allegedly began.

Authorities say the stepmother beat her stepson with belts and spoons, strapped him to a bed and would force him to stand in the corner for hours while he desperately needed to use the restroom.

Heather Coombs, the boys’ aunt, whose family is now looking after both of them, said she first heard allegations of abuse involving the older of the two beginning in 2019 but was unable to confirm that.

“They were completely isolated from society,” she told the TV station in an interview earlier this month. “They were not in school. So teachers couldn’t see, and there was a reason for that.”

In March 2021, according to court records, the older boy was taken to a crisis center where he was treated for mental and behavioral issues. Records obtained by WXIX suggest his father, a lieutenant with the Miami Township Fire Department currently on paid administrative leave, only visited his son there once. By the next month, the center cleared the boy for release but his father refused to allow him back into the family home. The victim was then sent to a group home where staffers would describe him as “compliant” and a “good kid.”

An abuse investigation became criminal in nature in December 2021 after the older boy told workers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that his stepmother and father abused him and his younger brother.

Court documents reportedly note there are indeed accusations of both children being abused, however, the current charges against the couple are only related to the abuse allegedly suffered by the older boy.

An online petition is currently calling for Anthony Dangel to be fired:

According to the chief at Miami Township Anthony is on “administrative leave pending the criminal investigation” Anthony is just as guilty as Amy Rodriguez not only is he the victims biological father but he failed to do one of the most important jobs a parent has. Protecting your own child. He even failed to do his job where he is responsible for saving lives he couldn’t even save his own child from the abuse of his wife.

My cousin has suffered mentally, physically, and emotionally due to the abuse from not only Amy Rodriguez but the torture of knowing his own father did nothing to stop it.

We want justice. Putting your hands on a child is never okay and knowing about it and doing nothing is just as bad.

“It is hard to swallow that he is in a position to help people on their worst days and [was] leaving his child at home in an abusive situation,” Coombs said, speaking of her former brother-in-law. “Just very disappointed and disgusted.”

Amy Dangel and Anthony Dangel appear to have made bond and do not show up on a current inmate roster for the Hamilton County Justice Center where they were detained after being indicted last month. Their next court appearance is currently slated for sometime in April.

[images via Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office]

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