Protective order issued against parents accused of locking child - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Protective order issued against parents accused of locking children in bathroom

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George and Nancie Barnes face a number of charges. (Watertown police/WFSB photos) George and Nancie Barnes face a number of charges. (Watertown police/WFSB photos)
George Barnes in court on Friday. (WFSB photo) George Barnes in court on Friday. (WFSB photo)
Nancie Barnes in court on Friday. (WFSB photo) Nancie Barnes in court on Friday. (WFSB photo)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

Parents in Watertown accused of cruel and unusual punishment for forcing their children to stand in a bathroom for hours, for sometimes months at a time, faced a judge on Friday.

George and Nancie Barnes appeared in Waterbury Superior Court.

Court officials said their $35,000 bond was not raised; however, a protective order was issued. They can't come into contact with any of their five adopted children.

They are now out on bond.

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that they were shocked by the allegations against the Barnes family.

They said George Barnes is a lieutenant with the Watertown Volunteer Fire Department.

"They're very nice people," said Robert Palmer of Watertown. "They're very responsible people."

However, police said the doors to the Barnes' Burton Street home hid the abuse inside.

The children ranged in age from 9 to 18 years old.

Police said they were punished on separate occasions by being confined to the bathroom for long periods of time. Wile they were in the bathroom, they had to stand up and read.

Investigators said the couple used baby monitors to make sure the children were standing when they were supposed to be.

The children were served meals in the bathroom and only allowed to leave for sleep and to go to school, police said.

Neighbors didn't understand.

"They're good-hearted people so I don't really know," Palmer said. "And they're family people."

"I feel badly for those four children. You just don't know what's going on in people's homes," said neighbor Jill Eberle. "I go down this street several times a day, I never would've thought that, just very sad, very scary."

Police said one of the incidents began this past September and lasted until mid-December.

The investigation began when one of the children spoke to their school resource officer.

All five children were removed from the house by the Department of Children and Families.

The Barnes face charges of cruelty, unlawful restraint and risk of injury to a child.

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