Court records show that a man from Florida was found guilty of child abu*se and other charges on Thursday after being accused of locking his adopted 14-year-old son in a small structure in his garage.
Jupiter police say that Tim Ferriter, who is now 48 years old, and his wife Tracy were arrested last year on charges that they locked the boy in the 8-by-8-foot structure several times. Court records show that the boy said it was 16 to 18 hours long the longest time.
Three counts of aggravated child ab*use, false imprisonment, and neglect of a child were found guilty by a jury on Thursday.
An NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, WPTV, shows video of Ferriter in court. He takes a deep breath as the verdicts are read, but his face doesn’t show any emotion.
The news station says that Tracy Ferriter has not yet been given a trial date.
Investigators went to the couple’s home in Jupiter on January 30, 2022, after their son was reported missing. This is when they were arrested in February 2022.
Tracy Ferriter said the building was used as an office. Police said they found a video camera, a lock, and a deadbolt that could be used from the outside.
Detectives say the boy told them he would be locked in the room. An affidavit filed in the case says a sibling also said the boy would be locked in the room when he behaved badly.
WPTV reported that Ferriter’s lawyers said in court that he made bad parenting choices because he was frustrated with not being able to control his son’s bad behavior, but that these choices were not illegal.
The charges can get you up to 40 years in state prison all together. A spokesman for the State Attorney Office for the 15th Judicial Circuit said that prosecutors have not yet decided what sentence they will seek.