A Connecticut couple is facing charges in a child abuse case after investigators discovered that one used an electric dog collar to punish their daughter, according to police.
Eduardo and Paula Montanez, a husband and wife who live in Danbury, were arrested on Tuesday, five days after a Danbury school employee contacted the state Department of Children and Families regarding suspected child abuse.
A joint investigation by DCF and Danbury police revealed that Eduardo Montanez had used a PetSafe barking collar on his 9-year-old stepdaughter. Police said the couple was upset about the girl's progress report, so Montanez put the bark collar around her neck and forced her to bark so the collar would shock her.
Paula Montanez, the girl's mother, was reportedly present when it happened and did nothing to stop the abuse, police said.
According to police, the girl went back to school and told a teacher about her problems at home.
The victim told police the shock collar incident had only happened once, but marks on her neck indicated it might have occurred more often. She also told investigators the couple had beaten her several times but did not specify when the beatings took place, police said.
Eduardo Montanez, 43, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, two counts of risk of injury to a minor and cruelty to a person. He was in court on Wednesday and the judge set bond at $250,000 bond.
The case is sealed. His defense attorney said there's substantial evidence that the girl is fabricating the abuse allegations for attention and that the sealed warrant alleges there is a U-shaped bruise on the girl's neck.
Paula Montanez, 34, was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor, conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and conspiracy to commit cruelty to a person. Her bond was set at $200,000.
Police said there were no young children in the home.
The couple does not have a prior criminal record in Connecticut but has lived elsewhere. Police haven't said if the couple has been arrested out of state.
The 9-year-old victim is in state custody, police said.If Paula Montanez makes bail, there is a "no contact" order for her three minor children.