Prison Sentence Suspended For Virginia Parents Who Pleaded Guilty To Forcing Their Children To Live In Filthy Cage

After pleading guilty on March 30 to forcing their three children – all under the age of 5 – to live inside of an unsanitary cage, Virginia parents Scott Suggs, 28, and Brandy Kangas, 38, – will not be facing any prison time. Due to the children being unharmed and well nourished, an attorney, William Neely, suggested to the judge that he drop the 6-year prison time and the judge agreed.

“Although these kids were in a nasty condition, a disgusting condition, they were filthy, they were covered in a rash which turned out to have been treatable — they were well-nourished and healthy when social services took them into custody,” Neely said.

It is unclear who reported the Virginia couple, as the police received anonymous tips, but according to NBC 12, their three children were found inside of their home locked in a cage. Inside the filthy cage was a mattress that the children shared.

They would feed them through an opening in the cage.

Due to feces and urine stains on the mattress, it was an indication that the parents would never let their children out of the cage.

Neely stated as follows.

“Nobody knows that that’s why. Kids get bruised on the heads all the time. The problem is the case law… Unless we can show that the neglect was intentionally set about to cause physical harm or kill the children or was so gross and reckless, the courts repeatedly hold that just being a bad parent and keeping a nasty, dirty house is not enough to convict somebody of felony child neglect. It’s got to be worse than that.”

He added that the “cage” was “nothing more than a gate.”

An unidentified woman came forward about locked children in cage. She said she “thought the kids were in danger.” She stated that she knew the parents and would try to get them to take the children out of the cage.

“I tried talking to them about the way they treated them and they wouldn’t listen. We got into fights over it,” she later added.

“People put kids in rooms with baby gates all the time. This was just more disgusting because it was a bigger gate and it was nailed to the wall and they were apparently passing food across the gate,” Neely said. “I don’t make the law, I just enforce it. “

The three caged children are now doing well and are currently in a foster home, according to Neely.

Although Suggs and Kangas did not receive prison time, they were placed on probation and ordered to pay $2,500 each.

A judge stated that they are not to have any contact with their children.

[Image courtesy of Dogs & Music/Flickr]