Genoa City couple face multiple child abuse related charges

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Gazette staff
Thursday, August 21, 2014

ELKHORN—A Genoa City couple is accused of making their 12-year-old son eat his own feces, keep his fingers in his mouth until his lips bled and stay in his locked room for 12 hours at a time, according to court documents.

Michael G. Donahue, 46, and Carrie M. Donahue, 37, both of 312 Sumner St., Genoa City, are charged with party to mental harm to a child, party to false imprisonment, physical abuse of a child intentionally causing harm and party to child neglect.

Carrie also faces a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

The 12-year-old lived with his father, Michael, and step mom, Carrie, during the time the abuse is reported to have occurred between January and December 2013, according to criminal complaints.

Child Protective Services in December 2013 received a complaint from Michael's father, Kenneth Donahue, who reported Michael and Carrie would lock his grandson in his room for 12 hours at a time.

When the child was yelled at for urinating in his room, he would “curl up into a fetal position due to all of the emotional abuse,” the complaints state.

Michael was granted sole custody of his son and daughter, 14, in January 2013 and was married to and lived with Carrie at the time in Walworth County.

The children told authorities Carrie in October 2013 made the 12-year-old eat his own feces. When the boy almost threw up, she threatened to hurt him if he didn't swallow, according to the complaint.

The 14-year-old sister told investigators Carrie made the boy pick up their dog's feces with his bare hands and would not let him wash his hands, according to the complaint.

Interviews with family members and the boy and medical records indicate the boy exhibited certain behaviors only when he was in the presence of Michael and Carrie, according to the complaints.

The 12-year-old boy wore diapers or Pull-ups, did not eat or shower and had urine soaked socks and shoes while with the parents in Walworth County, but he didn't needed Pull-ups and was “completely continent” during hospitalizations between June and August in 2013, according to the complaints.

The child's grandfather reported Michael and Carrie made the child keep his hand in his mouth until his lips would bleed and Carrie put sanitizer in his mouth to make it worse, according to the complaints.

At school, the child showed up multiple times disheveled, dirty, hungry and “wet” from urinating, according to the complaint.

If convicted of all charges, Carrie could face a maximum of 25 years and six months in prison. Michael could face 25 years and three months.

Their initial appearances in Walworth County Court are scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.

Criminal complaint: Michael G. Donahue facing child abuse charges

Criminal complaint: Carrie M. Donahue facing child abuse charges

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