Couple ‘chained’ 8-year-old autistic daughter to bed

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ASPartOfMe
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09 Mar 2024, 4:27 pm

Daily Herold

Quote:
A married couple was arrested and charged with felony abuse or neglect of a child with a disability for allegedly chaining their autistic daughter to her bed.

Benjamin Sorensen, 45, and Emily Sorensen, 40, were arrested Tuesday evening by an officer from the Provo Police Department and booked into the Utah County Jail, according to a police report.

Court documents show an order for their conditional release.

The Sorensens had been visited that afternoon by case workers from the Division of Child and Family Services, who observed that the couple’s 8-year-old daughter was “chained” to the top bunk of a bunk bed, per the arrest documents. They subsequently contacted authorities.

Upon arrival on the scene, an officer was invited into the Sorensens’ home, at which point they also observed the restrained child. According to the report, the child was chained with a padlock at the ankle. It was further noted that the officer observed impressions on the child’s skin “from the tightness of the chain.”

The officer made note in the arrest document of having been “advised by the case workers that there was already a (Child Protective Services) report” for a previous incident of the child being chained, and that the Sorensens had signed agreements to discontinue the practice.

After initially pushing back on the officer’s request to unchain the child, Benjamin Sorensen removed a key from his pocket and unlocked the padlock, according to the report.

Having agreed to speak with the officer without counsel present, he reportedly indicated that the child had been restrained nightly in this manner — between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. — for the previous three months.

According to the report, he also told the officer that his child is sometimes restrained when he and his wife are out and that their 13-year-old daughter is given a key to the padlock.

An indictment against the Sorensens explained the parents’ justification for restraining their daughter, which they said is because she “gets into things” and isn’t safe.

Court documents indicated the presence of five total children in the home. Per the police report, DCFS obtained warrants to take the children into custody.

Jeremy Friedbaum, who attends the same church as the Sorensens, believes that the couple is being mischaracterized by reporting of the incident.

“Ben and Emily Sorensen are active and beloved members of our ward. … We really love them,” he said. “They dedicate their lives to taking care of these children.”

According to Friedbaum, at least four of the five children have special needs.

This on the surface seems different then similar situations I post like this there does not seem to be sadism or hatred of who the kid is. They kids were apparently not beaten or starved but parents ignored a previous order to stop chaining their kid. Did anybody think with 4 of the 5 kids being special needs the parents are also special needs? Going out and leaving at least four special needs kids alone is bad judgement.

With a lot of questions unanswered I will reserve final judgement but the state taking custody seems like the right move until authorities can figure out what is going on.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


autisticelders
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10 Mar 2024, 8:03 am

heart breaking, hope they get the help they so obviously need, fines and warning are not going to be useful here.


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