LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Michigan man has pleaded no contest to child abuse for allegedly punishing his five children with whippings and confinement in a dark, locked bedroom described by one officer as a dungeon.
Thirty-three-year-old Yenier Conde's trial was underway Tuesday when the Lansing man pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree child abuse. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
The Lansing State Journal reports that prosecutors agreed to dismiss 13 other charges. Conde's sentencing is set for July 28.
Conde and his then-wife, Sarah Conde, were charged last year after police said they locked their children in a dark bedroom that a detective likened to a "dungeon."
Their parental rights were later terminated.
Sarah Conde pleaded guilty in June to one count of second-degree child abuse. Her sentencing is scheduled for later this month.
According to a report filed in June 2018, the Condes would lock their children in a dark bedroom and screw the door shut. The kid did not have access to a bathroom or food and one child said they could in the room from 10 hours to two days.
The abuse allegedly occurred over several years and was discovered in 2017, but abuse and neglect was documented in Child Protective Services reports that date as far back as April 2009.
The children told Child Protective Services investigators they were routinely beaten and threatened with guns. The oldest boy reportedly told investigators their mother lined them up, all in a row, and threatened to shoot them all after the kids flooded the bathroom with water. The boy said she showed them the gun was loaded and pointed it at them all -- and even pulled the trigger at one point but the gun jammed.
Another child said he'd been beaten with a piece of wood with nails in it.
One of the children reportedly even had cancer, and the couple stopped taking him to his appointments.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this