WALWORTH COUNTY (WITI) -- Accusing the accuser? In a case out of Walworth County, two are accused in a horrific child abuse case. They appeared in court on Monday, August 25th, to face serious charges. This, as an attorney says the accusations are lies, created by someone he calls "an emotionally disturbed genius."
A Genoa City father and stepmother, 46-year-old Michael Donahue and 37-year-old Carrie Donahue made their initial appearance in Walworth County court on Monday.
Generally, during initial court appearances, bond is set, and the next court date is scheduled. Usually, it is a quick and uneventful thing -- but not on Monday in Walworth County.
Michael Donahue has been charged with three felonies, and one misdemeanor. Charges against him include: causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment, child abuse - intentionally causing harm, and neglecting a child.
Carrie Donahue has been charged with three felonies, and two misdemeanors. Charges against her include: causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment, child abuse - intentionally causing harm, neglecting a child and disorderly conduct.
In court on Monday, the charges were met with argument and resistance.
As a $10,000 signature bond was set so Michael and Carrie Donahue could be released from jail until their next court date -- Carrie Donahue's attorney said there shouldn't be a case at all.
"The charges are absolutely false. There is no factual basis for them whatsoever," attorney Robert Kennedy said.
Michael and Carrie Donahue are accused of causing mental and physical harm to a 12-year-old boy in their care. The accusations include locking the boy in his room for 12 hours at a time, denying him food at times, and not allowing him to go to the bathroom -- locking his door from the outside and screwing his windows shut.
The criminal complaint filed against the couple accused Michael Donahue of forcing the boy to eat his own feces.
Genoa City police say Michael and Carrie Donahue were charged after months of investigation, search warrants and interviews with more than 20 witnesses.
"They did not abuse these children in any way," Kennedy said.
Kennedy says the same child testified against another couple who previously cared for him -- eventually leading to child abuse convictions in that case. Kennedy says the child is making the whole thing up.
"Oh, he's a genius. He is brilliant. He is absolutely brilliant. He goes to school, doesn't do his work and gets extremely high grades, tests out extremely high. He's emotionally disturbed, but brilliant," Kennedy said.
So if the boy is, in fact, lying -- why would witnesses corroborate his story? That's something Kennedy says he doesn't have answers for at this point.
We will learn more as this case continues.