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updated: 6/19/2013 5:01 PM

Father sentenced for binding kids outside Walmart

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  • Adolfo Gomez

      Adolfo Gomez

  • Deborah Gomez

      Deborah Gomez

 
Associated Press

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A Northlake man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison for binding and blindfolding two of his children a year ago in a Walmart parking lot in eastern Kansas.

Adolfo Gomez, 53, also was ordered to serve 24 months of post-release supervision after his prison term ends, said Cheryl Wright Kunard, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County district attorney's office.

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Gomez and his wife, Deborah Gomez, were arrested June 13, 2012, in Lawrence after a woman saw a child bound and blindfolded near the family's vehicle. Police reported finding two of their children, ages 5 and 7, bound by their hands and feet in the store parking lot, while three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the SUV unrestrained.

Adolfo Gomez pleaded no contest in December to felony child abuse and child endangerment. Deborah Gomez was sentenced earlier to one year of probation after pleading no contest to child endangerment.

The Gomezes, formerly of Bensenville and Naperville, told police they were in the parking lot because their vehicle had broken down on Interstate 70 near Lawrence on their way to Arizona.

At a preliminary hearing, investigators said Adolfo Gomez told them he had been listening to an online preacher who was predicting the end of the world and that a "darkness had come over" their house in Northlake.

One of the older children told police the family believed demons were in their home and outside their SUV in the Walmart parking lot. Adolfo Gomez told police the two younger children were acting out toward the older children in the vehicle during Bible studies.

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