August 16, 1996 in City

Man Pleads Guilty To Abusing Son

From Staff And Wire Reports

John O. Hamberg pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree child assault for beating his 11-year-old adopted son and tying him up so often the boy lost use of his left hand.

Pend Oreille County Prosecutor Tom Metzger dropped an additional second-degree child assault charge in exchange for the plea.

In a written statement, Hamberg, 37, said he repeatedly bound his son’s wrists and tied him to a bedpost with tape and rope. The abuse occurred between Feb. 1 and April 1.

Hamberg’s wife, Cindy, 31, was convicted earlier of contributing to the abuse.

The boy was home-schooled at the couple’s Newport-area home along with two daughters who apparently were not abused. All three children have been removed from the home.

Authorities aren’t sure whether the nerve damage to the boy’s left hand is permanent.

When Hamberg slammed the boy’s forehead onto a concrete floor and caused a 2- to 2-1/2-inch gash, Hamberg stitched up the wound with a sewing needle, the prosecutor said.

Hamberg, who has no previous convictions, faces a standard-range sentence of about eight to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Cindy Hamberg was convicted in May of third-degree child assault for tying up her son once and asking her husband to do so on several other occasions. She was sentenced to 45 days in jail and ordered to continue mental health treatment.

Doctors said she suffers from depression and a personality disorder.

, DataTimes

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