Tue December 10, 2013
Grand Jury Indictment Shows History Of Child Abuse
We now know more about the charges of abuse against a Union County couple accused of handcuffing a boy to their front porch with a dead chicken around his neck.
Grand jury indictments released Tuesday elaborate the history of abuse that authorities say the 11-year-old faced under the couple's guardianship.
The indictments of Dorian Lee Harper and Wanda Sue Larson run about 20 pages each. The case began about a month ago when an animal control officer was responding to a complaint about a loose animal. What he found instead has led to Monday's grand jury indictments that list 21 charges overall. The indictments give detail on abuse that authorities say occurred between August and November.
One of the charges says Harper used an electrical wire to burn part of the child's face, leaving a scar. The indictment also accuses Harper of cutting the boy's face with a knife. In many of the charges, Harper is accused of committing the abuse while Wanda Sue Larson is charged with failing to act by not seeking medical attention and reporting the abuse.
The jury also indicted Larson -- a child protective services supervisor for Union County's Department of Social Services -- with failure to perform her duty as a public official.
The couple also had four adopted children under their care, ages 8 to 14. They've been removed from the home.
The State Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing Union County's child welfare program.
Both Harper and Larson remain in jail on bonds of $500,000 and $520,000, respectively.
The Charlotte Observer