A Nebraska mother and father have been arrested on child abuse charges, accused of depriving their children of food and forcing them to endure egregious punishments.
The Sioux City Journal reports that Blaine Busker, 41, and Donella Busker, 38, of Emerson, are each charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, involving two boys they had reportedly asked the state to take away.
The Buskers are reportedly accused of depriving their two teenage boys of food and showers, sitting on them for lengthy periods of time as punishment, and forcing them to wear dirty clothing.
Court documents obtained by the Sioux City Journal say the parents withheld food from the boys by padlocking the refrigerator and kitchen cupboards—allowing them to eat only when given permission.
An affidavit obtained by the newspaper also accuses the couple of punishing the teens by sitting on them, making breathing difficult.
Police reportedly said that one of the boys told them of an incident when he was hungry and took food without permission, causing his father to become angry. Upon returning home, Blaine reportedly swept the teen’s legs out from underneath him, causing his son to hit his head on the floor and “see stars.” And the punishment didn’t end there—the boy said both of his parents then took turns sitting on him for 75 minutes before forcing him to go to bed without eating.
The affidavit accuses the parents of sitting on their sons as punishment in other instances as well. Further, the boys were reportedly only permitted to wash their clothes once a week and shower every other day in the home’s only bathroom, which court documents allege was padlocked when not in use.
When a deputy spoke with Donella in June, informing her that he was removing the children from their home, he said the mother replied, “I have called the state several times and have asked the state to take the kids away.”
The affidavit says Donella was receiving payments to care for her children by the state from February through June, totaling $5,475.
The couple is scheduled to appear in Dakota County Court on September 12.
[Feature photo: Blaine & Donella Busker, Dakota County Sheriff’s Office]