HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — The attorney for a southwest Ohio couple accused of abandoning the adopted 9-year-old son they raised since infancy says the boy has gotten some much-needed help and the parents have been in counseling with him.
Anthony VanNoy said Wednesday that Cleveland and Lisa Cox hope to be reunited with the boy.
The Coxes have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of nonsupport of dependents that allege they recklessly abandoned or failed to provide adequate support to the boy. VanNoy says his clients are prepared to go to trial next month and have not sought any plea offers.
Authorities say the couple took him to Butler County Children Services in October and left him there, saying he was displaying aggressive behavior and had threatened the family with a knife.
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The attorney for a couple accused of abandoning the adopted 9-year-old son they raised since infancy said Wednesday that the boy has gotten some much-needed help.
Anthony VanNoy, attorney for Cleveland and Lisa Cox, said after a brief pretrial hearing that the couple is visiting with the boy and hopes to be reunited with him. The Coxes have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of nonsupport of dependents, and VanNoy said they won't accept a plea deal, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported.
The trial is scheduled for Feb. 10.
The charges allege the couple recklessly abandoned or failed to provide adequate support for the boy. Authorities say the pair, from Butler County's Liberty Township, left the boy with children's services after saying he was displaying aggressive behavior and earlier threatened the family with a knife.
"The whole goal of the context of children services has always been to get help for the child," VanNoy said Wednesday.
He says the Coxes have received many letters of support.
"The blessing is that there has been an awareness of people that there are families that are struggling and they need help," VanNoy said.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser wouldn't comment on specifics of the case Wednesday but said he was encouraged by VanNoy's remarks.
"One always hopes in a long process such as this that there is a silver lining," Gmoser said.
Documents filed by the prosecutor say the parents didn't tell the boy when they left him with children's services that he wouldn't be returning home.
The Coxes could each face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of the single count against each of them.