EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah, (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested an Eagle Mountain couple Thursday for child abuse.
According to a news release from UCSO Public Information Officer Spencer Cannon, Clarissa Anne Tobiasson, 27, and her husband, Brett Parker Tobiasson, 31, were charged with second-degree felony child abuse for intentionally inflicting serious physical injury on their 5-year-old son.
Both Tobiassons were booked on one count, and bail has been set at $10,000 cash or bond.
The news release states that their arrests followed several months of investigation during which workers with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services interviewed witnesses and the victim.
“Investigators learned that the 6 year old boy, who was 5 years old when the crime occurred, would be locked into a basement room that was about 10′ x 10′. The room had no light and had a loose carpet covering the floor. The boy had only a mattress and a blanket to sleep with. That room was locked from the outside and the boy would be locked there around 6:00-7:00 PM and would not be let out until after 6:00 in the morning,” according to the release.
The release continues, “The boy described that he would go to the bathroom while in the room and put the waste in a hole in a wall so he would not get in trouble. Investigators also learned that the boy was fed a diet that consisted largely of carrots. He would be required to eat carrots before every meal and if he did not finish them within a certain time limit he would not be allowed to eat the rest of the meal. In another instance he was disciplined for eating samples at a local store when he knew he was supposed to eat carrots before eating anything else.”
The news release explains that, in this case, “serious physical injury” is defined by statute as anything that “causes serious emotional harm to the child” or “any conduct toward a child that results in severe emotional harm, severe developmental delay or intellectual disability, or severe impairment of the child’s ability to function.” (Utah Code 76-5-109)
The Tobiassons adopted the 6-year-old victim and his 2-year-old brother. They also have a 2-month-old girl. The 6-year-old is now in the care of a grandmother. The 2-year-old and 2-month-old children are in the custody of DCFS.