Child abuse is terrible in both its emotional and physical consequences. In 2012, news stories of child abuse, controversial parenting methods and new laws signed by Minnesota legislature appeared on the nightly news and local newspapers. Here is a list of the top child abuse related news stories of 2012 that occurred in Minnesota and sparked conversations, angered parents, and most importantly continued to remind us of this horrible, disgusting, damaging epidemic of child abuse and neglect.
8-year-old boy starved and abused by his adopted parents.
Mona Hauer and Russell Hauer were arrested after it was determined their adopted son had been purposely starved. The 8-year-old was reportedly so malnourished that his stomach was distended and his bones protruded from his skin. The couple will be charged with neglect and malicious punishment of a child. The Hauers allegedly beat the boy with a broom handle, made him sleep in the basement, and forced him to use the bathroom in a bucket. The child’s brothers and sisters, including his own biological siblings, would bathe him with a garden hose two or three times a week
Man becomes victim after stopping a dad from spanking his son.
Jamie Godlewski, of Coon Rapids says he saw a father spanking his child too hard and stepped in and asked the father to stop. Watson, the father of the child ran to his car with his two sons and began chasing after him and trying to run him over. Watson was charged with making terroristic threats, but not child abuse.
Coon Rapids man accused of stomping on his 2-year-old childs’ head repeatedly.
The Coon Rapids man was accused of repeatedly stomping on the head of his 2-year-old child and also assaulting the toddler’s mother. The mother told investigators the toddler was on the floor when his father stomped on the child’s head several times.
Minnesota Governor Dayton signs ‘Jacob’s Law’
Governor Dayton signed a new law that requires both parents to be notified in cases where a child is the victim of physical abuse or sexual assault. This law was inspired by the tragic story of 12-year-old Jacob, who was sexually assaulted by a neighbor in 2005 while visiting his father. The bill changes the requirement in current law that only one parent must be notified in such circumstances.
Minnesota man charged with squeezing newborn
William Robert Olsen, of Sandstone, was arrested charged with four counts of first-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child. Olsen admitted that he had squeezed his daughters arm because she was crying. Police said he began crying and admitted he “just squeezed too much.” He then admitted to police that he had also squeezed or twisted the child’s arms and legs other times.