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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Published: 5/3/2012

2 held in child endangerment case

East Toledo couple is accused of assaulting duo they adopted

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo couple are being held in the Lucas County jail on charges of endangering children for allegedly assaulting two young children, which, authorities say, was caught on video.

Joshua and Courtney Waxler, both 24, of 2253 Seaman St. were arrested Wednesday at the downtown Safety Building after police interviewed them, Detective Kermit Quinn said.

The two are to be arraigned Thursday in Toledo Municipal Court.

The Waxlers adopted the two children, ages 3 and 5, about three years ago, Detective Quinn said.

Lucas County Children Services Executive Director Dean Sparks did not know why the children were not with their biological parents, citing sealed adoption records.

Police declined to release the video, which Mr. Sparks said was recorded on a cell phone and turned over to police -- who then gave it to Children Services before it was again given to police last week.

The video, which apparently was recorded sometime in early or mid-February, had been turned in by a family member about April 13, Mr. Sparks said.

Mr. Sparks said that the video shows the children being yelled at and smacked; he added that they did not appear to have sustained injuries.

"We are upset as anybody is when we see these kinds of things happen," Mr. Sparks said. "I was outraged by the whole video and by the reports we got of what happened to these kids."

The two adopted children are now in foster care, Mr. Sparks said. The couple's three biological children -- including a newborn -- were in foster care but since have been placed with other family members.

"The kids are in safe hands," Detective Quinn said. "There's no chance of them getting in contact."

Mr. Sparks said there was no indication the couple's biological children were abused.

He could not comment specifically on the adoption process for the Waxlers but said, in general, the agency puts the family through a "home-study process" that includes visits from a caseworker who determines whether the home is safe and has enough living space.

Police also do home checks, and Children Services seeks personal references from people familiar with the people looking to adopt.

"We rely on people giving us adequate information about these people, about their character, about their parenting skills," Mr. Sparks said. "You know, we don't live with people so ... we have to rely on other folks to give us as accurate information as they can."

Caseworkers also visit the homes at least once a month.

"There were no questions about this home study," Mr. Sparks said about the Waxlers.

Before adoption can be considered, children must be in a home for at least six months, Mr. Sparks said.

"We don't know what happened in this case," Mr. Sparks said. "I've seen before where things go well for awhile and I don't know what happened here. I don't think anyone does. We're continuing to look at it to see what we're going to do."

According to Blade archives, the Waxlers were married in April, 2010. Mr. Waxler then described himself as a construction worker; Mrs. Waxler did not list any specific employment, but her Facebook page says she works for a tax preparation service.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com, 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @tdungjen_Blade.



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