September 6, 2012 in Idaho

Confinement case nets guilty plea

Couple accused of keeping teens in room, limiting their food, water
Associated Press
 

BOISE – A southwestern Idaho husband and wife charged with keeping two teenagers confined to their rooms and severely restricting what they could eat have pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace.

Brian K. Bracy, 38, and Melissa Louise Bracy, 34, of Kuna, Idaho, pleaded guilty Tuesday and were placed on probation for two years, during which time they cannot have any contact with the teens, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Cathy Guzman said Tuesday the agreement spared the teens from testifying and got them out of the house and someplace safe.

The teens were placed in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in June after a neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office.

The Bracys were indicted and arrested in July. Brian Bracy was charged with felony injury to a child while Melissa Bracy was charged with aiding and abetting felony injury to a child.

Investigators said the teens were allowed to leave their rooms for only a few minutes a day and were fed only rice and water for weeks at a time as punishment.

Investigators said the Bracys had established an extensive system of keeping track of the teens, including installing five video cameras in the house. The teens were punished if they left their rooms or ate food other than what the Bracys allowed.

Officers said one of the teens was being home schooled. The other went to public school, but was forbidden to eat any food there, court records said.

Deputies said it took an hour of coaxing through the shuttered windows of their room before the teens would leave the house.

The teens told detectives they were punished and confined to their rooms for weeks at a time after moving in with their father about four years ago. They said the last few months before they were removed from the house were particularly bad.

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