Court documents release new details in Newington child abuse cas - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Court documents release new details in Newington child abuse case

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Michael and Jennifer Thalmann. (Newington police photos) Michael and Jennifer Thalmann. (Newington police photos)
NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Police said two Newington parents put their children in dog cages and made them scrounge the backyard for worms.

After looking through court documents, Eyewitness News noticed that the alleged abuse only happened to the two adopted children, not their biological child.

Newington police said Michael and Jennifer Thalmann would use paddles to hit their children, in addition to locking them in cages and making them look for worms.

Department of Children and Families officials said the parents admitted this alleged abuse had been happening since the children were five, and they reportedly even tried to convince them it was okay.

The children are now ages 9 and 10.

Police said Michael and Jennifer would call their two adopted children names, like “stupid, idiot, dumb, moron, and thief.”

The Department of Children and Families got involved in 2015 and again this year, after a call from the principal at Newington’s Elizabeth Green School, because one of the children was stealing food.

The child told investigators he was starved for the first few years of his life, and “wanted something other than tomatoes, pepper slices, humus and apple,” court documents said.

The Thalmanns argued they simply wanted their children to eat healthy, but documents show doctors found them to be underweight.

The couple had no comment outside of court on Monday, but the documents show they defended their actions to DCF, saying Michael told them “At age 5, kids should understand right from wrong.”

What they couldn’t defend was the healthy, well-fed condition of their 4-year-old biological child.

When DCF asked one of the children about the special treatment, they said “He gets treated different, he doesn't get in trouble yet.”

All three children have a protective order from their parents who are out on bond. The couple no longer lives in the state of Connecticut.

To read the arrest warrant for Jennifer Thalmann, click here. For Michael Thalmann, click here.

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