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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

Parents indicted on charges they locked children in animal cage


A South Toledo couple accused of locking their sons in cages and shocking the older one with an animal training collar was indicted today by a Lucas County grand jury.

Jessica Botzko, 28, and John Westover, 37, both of 3019 Nebraska Ave., Lot 22, each were indicted in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on two counts of endangering children and one count of possessing criminal tools.

All of the charges are felonies.

Earlier today, the pair appeared in Toledo Municipal Court, where their cases on two counts of felony endangering children were continued until Monday. Their $50,000 bonds also were continued despite requests from a public defender to have the judge reconsider their bonds.

These are extremely serious charges, Toledo Municipal Court Judge Francis X. Gorman said before denying the request for Ms. Botzko.

During Westover s appearance, the judge said the bond was reasonable in light of the nature of the charges.

The children, ages 5 and 10, fled their mobile home May 1 and went to a Westwood Avenue home reportedly to escape from being locked in cages and the older one from being shocked through a collar. Lucas County Children Services placed the boys in foster care.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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