According to the Associated Press, Wayne Sperling pleaded guilty to keeping his young children in a filthy home and faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced on December 30.
Last October, the boys, ages two and six, were removed from the home when an emergency room doctor suspected abuse after the youngest had to be transported to the hospital for a cut on his forehead.
Sperling, his wife and the boys lived in an apartment filled with cat feces and flies, authorities said. The children were malnourished and could only communicate in grunts when they were found.
Prosecutors have said the boys are improving in the care of their foster-mother but have never asked about their parents.
Sperling’s wife, Lorinda Bailey, was sentenced last week to 90 days in jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to child abuse. (Huffington Post)
One of the lead detectives in the case, Detective Teresa Gessler, testified that when detectives went into the home, every surface in the house was covered with dead or living flies, and there was at least an inch of cat feces solidified with urine under the children’s beds.
After they removed the children from the home, the boys were given sacked lunches. They ate like they had never seen food before. Gessler testified that they patted the sandwiches and played with the apples as if they had never seen normal food before. Although they could only talk in grunts like cave men, when one of the adults mimicked eating an apple after seeing them play with it, they instead licked the apples.
The foster-mother said that when she received the boys, they didn’t know how to even dress themselves.
Prosecutor Bonnie Benedetti told the jury that nearly a year later the boys are still not potty trained. Benedetti also told the jury that they must keep their snack cupboard locked to keep the boys from taking food, then hoarding and hiding it.
Wayne Sperling pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of felony criminal neglect in exchange for having all other charges dropped. His sentencing hearing on the felony charges will come on December 30th.