Nebraska parents charged with withholding food from children sentenced to probation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Probation for Parents Charged With Withholding Food From Children

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two Nebraska parents whose child abuse allegations included withholding food from their children and sitting on their chests have been sentenced to probation as part of a plea agreement.

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Blaine Busker, 41, and Donella Busker, 39, were each sentenced to a year of probation on one count of misdemeanor child abuse Thursday, media outlets reported. A judge also ordered both parents to serve 60 days in jail once they complete their probation. The two had pleaded no contest to the child abuse charge in November.

Sentencing Judge Kurt Rager implied the parents were lucky to avoid more jail time.

"You've been given a huge opportunity, and I would hope the trust is not misplaced," Rager said.

Blaine and Donella Busker were arrested in August 2018 on allegations that they neglected and deprived their two teenage boys of food from January through June 18 of last year, the Sioux City Journal reported.

The Buskers are alleged to have kept padlocks on the refrigerator and kitchen cupboards in their Emerson, Nebraska, home to keep the boys from eating, Dakota County Attorney Kim Watson said. They were also accused of packing rotten apples in the boys’ school lunches.

The boys were only allowed to shower every other day, Watson said, and a padlock was kept on the bathroom door.

Among the allegations of physical abuse, one of the boys told authorities that the parents sat on him and his brother, making it hard to breathe, Watson said.

One of the boys also allegedly told authorities he took one of his father’s guns and hid it in case he and his brother ever needed to protect themselves.

Lawyers for Blaine and Donella Busker said the parents had been attending parenting classes and family therapy with their sons. The boys, however, have been adopted and have allegedly said they don’t want to be reunited with their parents.