Mother charged with child abuse after she bound her teenage son

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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – A Battle Creek mother is charged with child abuse after police said she bound her 13-year-old son’s wrists at home.

Sara Mendez-Lucas, 34, is charged with one felony count of third-degree child abuse. Mendez-Lucas faces up to two years behind bars along with fines.

According to police, officers found the teen bound by his wrists at home on the 100 block of West Rittenhouse on Saturday, when they responded to a call to check on his welfare. Officers also told FOX 17 it appeared that the teen may have also been bound at his legs, and found other signs of physical assault. Officers said the teen returned home after he ran away for several days.

Long-time neighbors said the teenager is the eldest of seven children, and told FOX 17 that both the mother and father are “hard-working,” and appear to “take good care of their children.”

One neighbor, Keith Lewis, said he was shocked to hear this in their tight-knit neighborhood.

“You just don’t mess around in this neighborhood, we take care of our own,” said Lewis. “If we knew that was going on, we wouldn’t let it go on. I’d have called myself.”

The bond for Mendez-Lucas is set for $20,000 and she is to have no unsupervised contact with any children, including her own. The next appearance for Mendez-Lucas in court will be her pre-exam conference scheduled for July 28, followed by her preliminary hearing August 4.

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