Pair arrested after child found to be kept in locked closet

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Belle Chasse, Louisiana: A pair were arrested last Friday after law enforcement received a tip concerning the treatment of a 7-year-old girl.

 

32-year-old Jack Branton and 33-year-old Tiffany Cupp were arrested and booked on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. They were released on a bond of $25,000 each on Tuesday.,

 

In a statement seen by WWL the Plaquemines Parish Sherriff's Office said that an "investigation revealed a juvenile in the care of Cupp and Branton had been living in substandard conditions and received significant injuries due to the living conditions. The juvenile was transported to Children's Hospital for an evaluation and medical treatment."

 

The girl is now in the care of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

 

When asked for a statement a DPS spokeswoman said, "The Department of Children and Family Services cannot comment on, or even acknowledge the existence of a potential investigation of abuse or neglect involving a child. If there is an investigation, state laws make the entire process— form report to investigation to outcome— confidential."

 

"This is a situation where a child was kept in a locked closet," Plaquemines Parish District Attorney Charles Ballay said. "That's what they had for the child. And in a room with puppy pads on the floor for feces and all that."

 

"Our main thing is we know this child is protected now," Ballay said. "So it's not like the child's going back with either of them now and from my standpoint, hopefully never."

 

Ballay stated that if convicted of the charge against them Cupp and Branton face a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in jail.

 

"That's the same thing as manslaughter, zero to 40, so that tells you how serious the Legislature takes it and the people take it."

 

A court records search did not reveal when Branton and Cupp are due back in court, but it did reveal what appear to be previous charges against them.

 

In June 2019 it appears as though Branton was charged with domestic abuse in the presence of a child, and in August 2012 it appears as though Cupp was charged with contributing to the delinquency of juveniles.

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