OGDEN, Utah, Sept. 29, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A Roy couple that accepted a plea deal last month, each pleading guilty to a single count of second-degree felony child abuse of their three sons, on Friday was sentenced.
Matthew Waldmiller, 39, and Diane Waldmiller, 40, each were sentenced to one to 15 years in prison after confessing to child abuse by intentionally inflicting serious physical injury.
Second District Judge Michael DiReda also denied a request to give the Waldmillers credit for time served since their March arrest.
In exchange for the plea deal, prosecutors had dropped two counts of child abuse against each of the Waldmillers.
The three boys came to the Waldmillers as foster children, whom they later adopted. They were ages 7 to 11 and the time of the Waldmillers’ arrest.
According to probable cause documents, the boys had been restrained with zip ties and had their mouths duct-taped shut on multiple occasions. When interviewed, the boys described being bound and beaten, and said if they cried, their clothes would be taken away.
Investigators say the room the boys were held in had no lights. The windows were screwed shut and had been painted black — retribution for an earlier escape which ended when the boys were found dumpster diving for food behind a nearby school.
The Waldmillers also had a 2-year-old foster daughter at the time of their arrest, but police said there was no evidence the toddler had been abused.
Roy Police Sgt. Matthew Gwynn told Gephardt Daily in mid-March that the boys were often punished by being served heavily salted rice laced with cayenne pepper, and they weren’t allowed to drink water after 2 p.m.
He said the boys were also denied access to a bathroom, and resorted to relieving themselves in a furnace vent.