New DH calendar
Article updated: 10/8/2013 11:55 AM

Parents of malnourished boys make court appearance

Wayne Sperling Sperling and Lorinda Bailey are accused of starving their four sons and keeping them in squalid conditions. The couple have each been charged with four counts of felony child abuse.

Wayne Sperling Sperling and Lorinda Bailey are accused of starving their four sons and keeping them in squalid conditions. The couple have each been charged with four counts of felony child abuse.

 

Associated Press

Lorinda Bailey and Wayne Sperling are accused of starving their four sons and keeping them in squalid conditions. The boys are 2, 4, 5 and 6. An affidavit says they weren’t toilet trained, had no schooling and spoke in “their own language” of grunts to each other.

Lorinda Bailey and Wayne Sperling are accused of starving their four sons and keeping them in squalid conditions. The boys are 2, 4, 5 and 6. An affidavit says they weren't toilet trained, had no schooling and spoke in "their own language" of grunts to each other.

 

Associated Press

 1 of 2 
 
text size: AAA
By Associated Press

DENVER -- A Denver couple accused of starving their four young sons and keeping them in a filthy apartment strewn with cat feces, urine and flies have been advised of felony child abuse charges against them.

The boys are 2, 4, 5 and 6. Documents say all four have been placed in protective care and have undergone hospital exams that found they are malnourished, not toilet trained and can only communicate in grunts.

Advertisement

Thirty-five-year-old Lorinda Baley, who is free on bond, appeared in court for the first time Tuesday dressed in a black pantsuit.

Her husband, 66-year-old Wayne Sperling, is in custody and sat with about a dozen other defendants behind glass. He was dressed in a yellow jail uniform.

They did not enter pleas.

In June 2009 the couple pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse, according to the affidavit first obtained by KMGH-TV. The ABC affiliate also reported that police found clutter and unsanitary conditions at the home last year.

The current charges against the parents come after an investigation that began Sept. 29 when Bailey took her youngest son to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital for a cut on his forehead that she said happened after a fall. An emergency room doctor informed authorities that the child was unwashed and smelled like cigarette smoke, prompting a welfare check by a Denver Human Services case worker. Bruising behind the child's right ear appeared consistent with pinching, the doctor said.

Denver police Officer N. Rocco-McKeel accompanied the case worker to the apartment at her request and reported finding five cats and feces on the floor throughout the apartment and the "strong odor of a decomposing animal." The officer noted that flies covered "every surface" in one room and that he couldn't determine any age or developmental differences between the three eldest children.

The mother said she did not think the apartment was unsafe and denied the boys had any developmental delays. The mother said she had been living alone in a separate unit of the building for the past two months, but still saw the children every day except Saturday and Sunday "when she works too much."

Sperling, meanwhile, told investigators he was unemployed and has been the boys' primary guardian. He intended to begin home schooling the 6-year-old.

He also said the feces on the floor of the apartment was that of the cats'. The affidavit said there was 1-2 inches of cat feces under the bunk bed where the boys slept and the floor was soaked with cat urine.

A doctor with the Family Crisis Center told police that it did not appear that the children regularly visited the doctor and the 5-year-old had no records whatsoever.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.