Neighbors criticize social services for not protecting 4 boys in abuse case
DENVER — Police say four little boys were left to live in squalor. Now, their parents have been arrested and we’re learning the couple has been in legal trouble before.
Wayne Sperling, 66, and Lorinda Bailey, 35, were in Denver court Tuesday to face multiple counts of felony child abuse charges.
Sperling remained in jail Tuesday night. Bailey was released after posting $5,000 bond.
The two were arrested after police found the four boys living in filth.
Sperling and Bailey were advised they each face four counts of felony child abuse.
Police say they found the boys, ages 2 to 6, severely malnourished living in an apartment at E. 18th Avenue and Emerson Street.
An affidavit says it was swarming with flies and covered in human and animal waste.
Police say the boys were not potty trained and communicate only through grunts.
Attorney David Littman owns an adjacent building and he says the family is no stranger to social services. Neighbors say they often saw the boys running outside, unsupervised, in diapers.
It ended when Littman saw three of the boys pushing each other in a window sill eight feet above the ground.
“There are places where these boys if they fell could impale themselves and we made a decision to call the police,” says David Littman who owns the building next door.
He says the kids were removed for several months but then they were returned to the home again.
Littman says not only should the parents be held responsible, but so should the agency charged with protecting those boys. “How does this go on for some months after the children were returned and how do the conditions get as deplorably bad as what has been reported?” he asks.
The arrest affidavit says Bailey, who is the building superintendent, didn’t thing the apartment was that bad. It also says Sperling admitted none of the boys went to school. He blamed conditions on the seven cats living in the apartment.
“This isn’t the first time that social services has gotten involved so hopefully they can actually take the kids away this time,” says neighbor Debra Miller.
“Of course we don’t have answers but it seems like no on watched what was going on,” Littman says.
Doctors say all four boys are developmentally delayed. None of them had received immunizations or wellness checkups according to authorities.
Sperling and Bailey are due back in court October 29.