Hearing set for parents of kids who were tied up
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- An attorney for a suburban Chicago mother accused in Kansas of abusing her five children told a judge Thursday that the woman was unaware of how the children were being treated and was trying to get out of her relationship with her husband.
Adolfo Gomez Jr., 52, and his wife, Deborah Gomez, 43, both of Northlake, Ill., appeared in Douglas County District Court on charges related to their June 13 arrest after someone spotted a 5-year-old boy sitting outside a sport utility vehicle with his hands and feet bound and a blindfold covering his eyes.
Police responded and found a 7-year-old girl also tied up and blindfolded outside the vehicle, while three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the vehicle but not restrained.
Both parents have been charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment. Adolfo Gomez also was charged with one count of obstruction for resisting officers, who used a stun gun to subdue him when he tried to climb into the SUV as they approached.
Deborah Gomez's attorney, Angela Keck, told Judge Paula Martin that the woman didn't know what was happening to her children when she went into the store and left them with the father. Keck suggested that her client was in a difficult relationship with her husband and trying to separate.
"She was every much a victim as the children. She did everything she could," Keck said.
However, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services confirmed that they have investigated the couple for allegations of neglect, including a case opened in December 2011 but closed in April.
The parents are being held on $50,000 bond and are scheduled for a preliminary hearing next Thursday. Keck asked Martin to reduce her client's bail to $15,000 so she could get out of jail to take care of her children. They have been in protective custody.
Elbridge "Skip" Griffy, a court-appointed attorney, said told Martin that he was still representing Adolfo Gomez until the results of a competency review were discussed next Tuesday.
Mental health professionals evaluated Gomez to determine if he was able to represent himself in court after asking the judge to remove Griffy, objecting to his use of profanity during one of their conversations.
Griffy said he would stay on the case through that hearing to make sure he wasn't working for someone who was "completely off the edge of the planet."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)