|James Allen Taylor and Samantha Marie Taylor|
A couple in Ohio was charged this week for punishing their three children, forcing them in plastic boxes sealed with tape and just cut straight across the top for air.
The children, ages 5, 6, and 8, were crammed into boxes as punishment on June 16 at the family home in Steubenville, while the parents went to the store and left two uncles at home with them, said a prosecutor. A family friend came home, got the kids out of the box and contacted the police.
"The children were basically showing police how they curled in a fetal position, lying on their back," said prosecutor Jeffrey J. Bruzzese.
The children were in boxes for about 15 to 30 minutes, with square holes cut from the covers to expose the upper face to air. There was no indication that they had been put into boxes before, but they were part of a cycle of abuse by their parents, who dropped weights on them to crush their feet, Bruzzese said.
The children have been removed from the home and are in good health, the prosecutor said.
James Allen Taylor, 29, and stepmother Samantha Marie Taylor, 26, were charged this week by a Jefferson County jury on charges of endangering children, a felony, and threatening serious illegal detention, a misdemeanor. The couple also faced another felony related to endangering, "ongoing corporal punishment in the family."
It was unclear Friday whether the couple had lawyers, and a phone number that works for them could not be found.
The two uncles were also charged. Bruzzese said they put the kids in the boxes, with one of them cutting the air holes.