“Beside an actual homicide, this may be the most egregious thing that I have seen in four years here,” Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn stated.
40-year-old James Kevin McGonnell and 54-year-old Carol Steinagle were both arrested and booked on charges of abusing a child between November 2017 and January 2020.
Neither the gender nor the age of the child have been released so as to protect the victim's identity. Flynn also refused to comment on what relationship there was between the victim and the accused.
The victim has been removed from the home and is now reported to be living with a family member. Other children that were living in the home were not believed to have suffered abuse but have also been removed.
According to the statement issued by the office of the District Attorney, "It is alleged that between November 2017 and January 2020, the defendants, while acting in concert with each other, abused a child in their home in the Town of Cheektowaga by implementing increasingly horrific forms of punishment against the victim. The defendants are accused of knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental, and moral welfare of the child victim."
They stand accused of not only forcing the child to remain confined for extended periods of time sometimes exceeding 12 hours in either a bedroom or the garage, but also of denying basic human needs such as food, clothing, and the use of a bathroom.
In addition to beating the child, kicking with a steel-toe boot, and threatening death, McGonnell is accused of having strangled the child on one occasion resulting in a loss of consciousness.
The charges against the two include kidnapping, dour counts of assault in the second degree, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. McGronnell has an additional count of strangulation in the second degree filed against him.
They remain in the custody of the Erie County Sheriff's Office.