A man and woman accused of child abuse in what the Racine County Sheriff referred to as the most heart-wrenching case of child abuse he's seen appeared in court for the first time Friday. The two face several charges for allegedly keeping a 9-year-old locked in a dog kennel.
“Commissioner clearly this is a horrific allegation to a very small child," the prosecuting attorney said. "At the same time, there seem to be drugs involved."
The pair is accused of four different felonies, ranging from causing mental harm to a child and false imprisonment to maintaining a drug trafficking place. If convicted of all four crimes, Gale LaLonde and Dale Deavers could both be imprisoned for up to nearly three decades. Deavers, who lives with LaLonde, is accused of purchasing the cage LaLonde used to lock up her grandchild.
“The allegations are that he bought a cage for a nine year old and that there was a significant marjiana grow operation in the basement," the prosecuting attorney said.
According to the criminal complaint, LaLonde admitted to keeping her grandchild caged. When told by an investigator that the victim’s teacher reported the crime to police Lalonde responded:
“Yes, that is true… [my grandchild] hurts animals, threatens to kill us, eats ridex and cleaners," LaLonde said.
“I’m trying to keep her safe," she continued.
Lalonde and Deavers are each being held on $55,000 cash bond. Both are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, September 13th.