Father of Toquerville boy found emaciated, kept in bathroom, pleads guilty to child abuse

Russell Orin Jaynes. Photo: Washington County

ST. GEORGE, Utah, April 10, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The father of a Toquerville boy who was found emaciated after being confined to a dark, feces-filled bathroom for more than a year has pleaded guilty to abuse.

Russell Orin Jaynes, 41, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to third-degree felony child abuse, and was sentenced to up to 364 days in the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. That will be followed by three years of supervised probation.

Jaynes was considered by state prosecutors to be a secondary defendant in the case. Wife Brandy Jaynes, 37, was found guilty of three counts of second-degree felony child abuse of her 12-year-old son. She was sentenced in August to 45 years in prison in the 2017 case.

In fact, Russell Jaynes’ actions were responsible, in part, for his son’s plight being discovered by law enforcement officials. Jaynes took his son to a hospital for treatment, according to a probable cause statement. A doctor at the Dixie Regional Medical Center called it “the worst case of malnutrition he has ever seen,” the statement said.

After a judge approved a search warrant, officers went to the Toquerville residence, which one officer described as “horrific.”

“During a search of the home, detectives located an upstairs bathroom that the victim’s mother admitted to being the room the victim stayed in,” the probable cause statement said.

Officers found a few empty bean cans and a spoon in the shower. The shower’s drain was covered with duct tape, and the light switch reportedly had been taped in the “off” position.

The boy weighed only 30 pounds, roughly a third of the average weight for a boy that age, according to a government chart from the Center for Disease Control. The case sparked worldwide outrage when the news broke.

Several months after the boy was taken into protective custody, officials reported his condition was improving. Little more information has been made available in an attempt to protect the child’s privacy.

Brandy Kay Jaynes. Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office



  1. It takes a special kind of evil to harm a child. Evil doesn’t begin to describe a parent who harms their own flesh and blood. Every time I think of that cold, hungry,
    terrified little boy locked in that dirty, wet bathroom I want to weep. 364 long, hopeless, pain filled days and nights. Freezibg winter, scorching summer. His little limbs cramping and seizing Every day worse than the last.
    Yes his “father ” took him for medical assistance but it was his cruel, black, twisted heart that allowed him to suffer in the first place. 364 days is criminal!!. A travesty. A total slap in the face to this tortured child. Shame on the Judge who handed down such a light punishment. This child deserved justice and so much more.

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