A father accused of child abuse after authorities found his four young sons living in a filthy Denver apartment has changed his plea to guilty.
Wayne Sperling accepted an agreement with prosecutors Thursday, changing his plea from not guilty to guilty. He faces up to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced on December 30. Prosecutors agreed to drop five other charges in exchange for the plea change, Fox News reported.
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Authorities say Sperling, his common-law wife, Lorinda Bailey, 36, and the boys lived in an apartment filled with cat feces and flies. The four children, all under the age of 6, were malnourished and could only communicate in grunts when they were discovered in October 2013.
Bailey was sentenced last week to 90 days in jail and five years’ probation after she pleaded guilty to child abuse. Prosecutors wanted seven years in prison.
During sentencing on Nov. 7, a Denver detective told the court that the stench from Bailey’s apartment was “so overwhelming that it permeated into the street.”
Prosecutors say it is one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen, however the children were not seriously physically injured.
Prosecutors say the boys are making significant progress with one “amazing foster mom” and have never asked about their parents since living with in their new home. The judge ordered Bailey to have no contact with her children while she’s on probation.
In addition to their four boys, the couple also lost custody of two other children in a previous child abuse case. Bailey eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse stemming from the 2006 case in which two of their children were found playing on nearby 18th Avenue, CBS 9 News reported.
Father Accused of Child Abuse Changes Plea to Guilty, Faces 7 Years in Jail