Family members accused of tying up toddler to bed and chair, report says

gkocher1@herald-leader.comSeptember 28, 2012 

LAWRENCEBURG — A trial date will be scheduled next month for the mother, stepfather and grandmother of a 3-year-old girl accused of tying the child up for hours at a time to a bed and kitchen chair because she had a habit of "getting into things."

The confinement occurred over a two-month period from June 1 through Aug. 3, according to a Kentucky State Police investigative report filed in Anderson Circuit Court.

Charged with first-degree criminal abuse are the girl's mother, Rebecca Medley, 30, her stepfather, Herbert C. Medley, 53, and her grandmother, Carolyn Case, 64, all of Lawrenceburg, state police said.

Herbert Medley and Case declined comment Friday. Rebecca Medley, also known as Rebecca Leah Jackson in court records, could not be reached for comment.

The three were indicted and arrested in late August, and have pleaded not guilty. Rebecca Medley and Case were released on their own recognizance; Hebert Medley is free on a $1,000 bond. They are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 16, according to court records.

State police were called Aug. 3 to investigate an abuse complaint reported by a child protective services caseworker. Troopers initially interviewed Case, the grandmother, who acknowledged that she tied the girl to a bed, and showed police the bed inside her Lawrenceburg home.

Case told police that she began tying the girl to the bed with a green curtain sash "at night because she was getting out of bed and getting into things," the investigative report said. Case also told police that the girl "attempted to leave the house while everyone else was asleep."

Case told police she had seen Rebecca Medley tie the girl to the bed. Sometimes the girl would be tied from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day.

"She advised that the child would also be tied up for a two-hour nap and for up to four hours for discipline throughout the day," the report said. "She also advised there was a blue booster seat attached to one of her kitchen chairs" in which the girl was tied "for up to two hours a day."

Case said her granddaughter "spent more time tied up than free," the report said. Case said Rebecca Medley would tie the girl "very tightly" and that the girl's movement "was very impaired and she was not able to escape."

State police took the curtain sash into evidence and took photographs of the bed and the rest of the house. The report said the sash was laced through the arm holes of the girl's shirt and behind her back.

"It was then fastened to her bed using a large horse collar safety pin," the report said. "The green sash was also used to tie her to a blue booster seat that was fastened to a kitchen chair."

On the same day the grandmother was interviewed, police also spoke with Rebecca Medley. She, too, confirmed the complaint against her, the report said.

However, Rebecca Medley said the girl "was only tied to the bed for two hours for discipline, and another 30 minutes to the chair," the report said. She gave the same description of how this was done as Case.

Rebecca Medley said her husband was aware of the practice as well "but did not participate himself." Rebecca Medley said she, her husband and Case "fought about this on a regular basis." Rebecca Medley said Case began the practice of restraining the child.

On Aug. 6, state police spoke with Herbert Medley, who said "he knew about the women tying" the girl to the bed "but felt he could not tell anyone because Ms. Case had threatened to kick them out of the residence."

Court records did not specify whether the girl is in state custody or with relatives. Gwenda Bond, a spokeswoman for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said she could not provide information about the case.

First-degree criminal abuse is a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison. State police say the case remains under investigation.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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