Parents of autistic teen

Police: Autistic Teen Severely Starved In Shocking Colorado Abuse Case

Authorities in Colorado say an autistic teen is the victim of child abuse at the hands of his own parents. The Washington Post reports that David and Vanessa Hall face a variety of charges associated with the alleged abuse of the 17-year-old boy.

The alleged abuse came to light when the teenager was taken to Longmont United Hospital last week. Medical staff at the Colorado facility say that the teen’s condition was the worst they had ever seen. When the two Colorado parents brought the teen to the hospital, he weighed a shocking 88 lbs. The autistic teen has also been reported as being blind.

David and Vanessa Hall claim that their son had been suffering from the flu and that he had dropped approximately 15 lbs. over the course of just a few days. Of course, authorities — along with hospital staff — believe that this isn’t true. They allege that the 17-year-old young man is the victim of extreme abuse and neglect. A doctor at Longmont United Hospital said that the boy’s condition was comparable to “someone who would have been in a concentration camp for several years.”

Upon investigating, authorities have found that the teen was kept on a diet of approximately 500 calories per day — which is three to four times less than the recommended daily intake for the average person. His parents have reportedly admitted that he was living on very little more than soda and junk food, such as Doritos and Cheetos. The teen’s father has reportedly acknowledged that his diet was poor, but that he and his wife didn’t know what to do about it.

Nonetheless, authorities say that they chose to let the autistic, blind teenager eat only these things, which presumably led to his extreme undernourishment. Police also say that the teenager was made to urinate in a jug by his bed, instead of being provided with access to a suitable restroom.

This isn’t the first time a child with autism or other special needs has been allegedly abused. In fact, earlier this summer a Virginia man was arrested on accusations that he had sexually assaulted a child with autism. WTVR News reports that the suspect, a school driver, may have assaulted the 10-year-old girl multiple times during May of this year.

Also this year, five people in Louisiana were arrested and slapped with a laundry list of charges, in association with the discovery of an autistic woman who had been living in a cage. The woman was discovered in the backyard of a residence, caged like a mistreated animal. Come to find out, she had also been the victim of sex trafficking.

Also this summer, a Pennsylvania mom was arrested after she admitted to locking her two children — one of whom is autistic — in her car on multiple occasions. Her reason for locking the kids in the car, according to reports, was so she could work out in at the gym. She was also charged with multiple offenses in association with these “routine” incidents.

In 2011, an Oklahoma man was arrested after he posted an advert on Craigslist, which offered his own six-year-old son for sexual acts with other men. To make matters more disturbing, the six-year-old child in this horrifying case suffers from autism. To make the case even more disturbing, at least one person did respond to the ad posted on Craigslist by the boy’s father. That person was eventually arrested in association with the incident, which ended in the sexual abuse of the six-year-old autistic child.

As for this latest case out of Colorado, the parents of the unnamed autistic teenager have been charged with felony child abuse, as well as neglect resulting in serious bodily injury. In the state of Colorado, if convicted, the child’s parents could find themselves in prison for quite a few years.

[Image via Longmont Police Dept.]

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