An Ohio couple who returned their adoptive son to the county after 9 years and faced charges of reckless abandonment have turned themselves in.
Cleveland and Lisa Cox, together with their attorney, walked into Butler County jail on Friday evening after attempting to hand over their son on October 24, according to prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
Speaking with Yahoo! Shine, Gmoser said:
” Iwant to provide as much deterrent as I can for parents who think, ‘Oh, I’m honked off at my child; I can just abandon him. After reviewing (the parents’) financial and psychological abilities, I couldn’t wrap my brain around any defenses people in these circumstances could have about wanting to give back a child.”
The couple who adopted the boy as an infant through Butler County Children Services, brought him back citing “aggressive behavior” issues for which he had refused help, according to the AP.
The parents could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if found guilty of the charges.
The boy is under protective custody at this time, awaiting the verdict from the grand jury, after which the parents will find out their fate.
However, the prosecutor in the case of the returned boy, had not been able to locate the boy’s family, which includes two other adopted siblings and had not been able to serve the Coxes with the indictment before Friday.
Adolf Olivas, the 9-year-old’s court appointed attorney, said his client is “hurt and confused.”
“If your 9-year-old needs help, you get him help,” he says. “It is not a question of a 9-year-old wanting it or not.”
The couple who attempted to return the boy had not been seen publicly since Thursday when they pulled their two other children out of school due to a “family emergency.”
Their attorney, Anthony VanNoy, said Clevaland and Lisa Cox called the sheriff’s office on Friday informing them they would be turning themselves in so that proceedings could move forward.
According to VanNoy, the Coxes are devastated and don’t understand the charges.
“I think the public is really going to question why they were indicted in the first place and charged with these misdemeanor offenses,” he said at the jail. “We’ve never seen such a thing based on the information that I have in this scenario.”
A hearing on the case is scheduled in Butler County Juvenile Court on November 27. No date has been set in the criminal case hearing.
The attorney for the couple who returned their adoptive son says the parents love their son very much and this was the “right thing to do” in their situation.