Obviously, child abuse is no laughing matter. But apparently, punishing a child abuser is very much one, at least in one judge's courtroom.
First, the backstory. In 2001, after receiving complaints from neighbors, child services descended on a home in Vidor, Texas. There, they found 11-year-old Zachary Wiegers, filthy and covered in mosquito bites. Zach's stepfather, Curtis Robin, soon found himself in court facing several accusations of child abuse, namely that he had caned Zach with a car antenna, forced him to chop wood, and made him sleep in a doghouse. And not some fancy mansion-esque doghouse, like the kind rich people give their pooch to remind poor people just how poor they truly are. Nope, just a regular old doghouse that actual dogs could barely fit into, never mind a human being.
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Look how sad they are. And they're dogs.
Robin admitted to the antenna and wood-chopping charges, claiming the first was simply spanking, and the second was a fucking chore, like the one many parents assign their kids. It was the third charge -- the doghouse one -- that he denied. However, he almost immediately accepted a plea deal from prosecutors, in order to avoid massive jail time, so it couldn't have been that vehement a denial.
The judge, realizing the potential for pure comedy via massive humiliation, offered Robin his choice of sentencing. He could either spend 30 days in jail, or 30 nights sleeping outside in a doghouse. Robin loudly protested the idea by saying, "If you want a punishment that fits the crime, then the D.A. needs to come over here and spank me because that's all I did to Zachary." Ultimately however, he chose the doghouse, both because he didn't want to lose his job, and because the D.A. wouldn't take him up on his offer to spank him oh-so-hard.
Via Google News
With a doghouse.
So it came to pass that, for four weeks in 2003, a grown-ass man slept in a 2-by-3 plastic doghouse in front of his house. He couldn't fit inside it, and it was mosquito season, so even with netting around him, the noise kept him awake most nights. Pedestrians would pass by, laugh at him, and throw bottles. And in case you think he could have just left the doghouse and slept under the stars every night, think again. The courts had officers patrol his yard every night, to make sure he was uncomfortably slumming it inside his new home.
But hey, at least the state provided the doghouse, so that Robin's actual dog wouldn't be homeless during this time. They're not monsters, after all.
"We left your food in a bowl around the side. Enjoy."
Menezes broke down and set up a Twitter page. His current whereabouts are unknown.
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