Zip-tied 4-year-old was tied to gate by cruel parents (video); left with bruises on wrists and arms

Published 07 May 2013  |  
Wake County Sheriff's Office
Marlaine Victoria Coffey and Gerald Thomas Swinehart charged with child abuse

A North Carolina couple has been accused of using zip ties to tie their 4-year-old daughter's wrists and hands to a baby gate. Gerald Thomas Swinehart and Marlaine Victoria Coffey have been taken into police custody and remain prison as they face charges of intentional child abuse. The child has been taken away from their custody.

Swinehart, 26, is also accused of breaking her child's lower teeth after hitting her in the face earlier this year. She required medical attention but was not removed from her parent's home until March 31. Arrest warrants for the parents claimed that the girl suffered bruises to her wrists and ankles from the zip ties.

Coffey, 28, has been set at $50,000 bond. Swinehart's is set at $100,000. Both may face a long prison sentence for the alleged abuse if found guilty. Swinehart is charged with two counts of intentional abuse inflicting serious physical injury, and Coffey is charged with one count. It is not known whether the pair has attorneys to represent them.

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