Eastern Washington couple who locked child in dog crate sentenced to two months

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SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane couple has pleaded guilty to assaulting a 7-year-old child back in August.

Gaelaen Kilbride pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree and unlawful imprisonment. She was sentenced to 61 days in jail. Her boyfriend, James Fetterhoff, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 62 days.

According to court documents, both of them were originally booked into the Spokane County Jail in September for child assault, criminal mistreatment and unlawful imprisonment.

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Warning: the details in this article may be disturbing. 

The case began with an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services about a 7-year-old child who was locked in his room, physically abused and deprived of food.

CPS visited the family’s home on August 3. Court documents say the child’s mother admitted “locking [the child] in a metal dog kennel overnight using a padlock so the child wouldn’t get up and gorge himself on food.” Her boyfriend also told CPS that the mother has spanked the child “15-20 times with a leather belt and that [the child] screams at the top of his lungs in anticipation of being hit.”

Court documents say the pair “have made [the child] eat a spoonful of Habanero hot sauce 3-4 times because ‘it’s hot and painful.’”

Spokane Police came to the home on August 4th and took statements from the child, CPS and a medical expert hired to examine the child. That expert said the child was “a victim of child abuse, if not torture.” Police saw bruising over the child’s eye as well.

The child and his younger siblings were removed from the home at that time.