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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Cavallier

Mom who kept her adopted son locked in a ‘box’ avoids prison after admitting to her crime

Court TV

A Florida mother accused of locking her adopted teenage son in a box will not serve any prison time after pleading guilty to a slew of child neglect charges.

Tracy Ferriter, 48, and her husband, Timothy Ferriter, allegedly kept the boy, who was 14 years old at the time, in a windowless 8-foot by 8-foot box in the garage of their Jupiter home with only a bed, a bucket and a camera. The only time he was allowed out was to go to school.

At a hearing on Monday, Tracy Ferriter tearfully pleaded guilty to felony charges of aggravated child abuse, false imprisonment and child neglect of her son who she has said has reactive attachment disorder (RAD) which can lead to frequent violent outbursts.

“We were living a life that’s not what is portrayed in the media,” she told the court. “There was a lot of things that nobody knew. We were a completely loving family. I love my kids. We just tried to do the best that we could with what we had.”

Tracy Ferriter and her husband Timothy were arrested by Jupiter police in February of 2022, shortly after their son ran away from home.

Timothy Ferriter was convicted of the same charges last October and was sentenced to five years in prison. His attorney told the court at the time that they had struggled with their son’s behavioral issues after adopting him as a toddler from an orphanage in Vietnam.

Timothy Ferriter was convicted last October and was sentenced to five years in prison (Court TV)

Tracy Ferriter’s defense team argued that the Ferriters were not child abusers. But that they had just made a poor parenting decision regarding the discipline of their teenage son.

Circuit Court Judge Howard Coates ordered Tracy Ferriter to serve 10 years probation and 300 hours of community service. She will also have to undergo a mental health evaluation, take anger management and parenting classes, and cannot have any contact with her husband or her son, the judge ruled.

“It was a completely different case than what was presented through her husband’s case,” Defense attorney Marc Shiner said on Monday.

“Even though she had a very good chance of being exonerated, she really wanted to put this to rest so her children could have some peace.”

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