An Indiana dentist and his wife, who were accused of locking their teenage daughter in a cage, will not serve time in prison after accepting a plea agreement.
On Friday, Alan P. Friz, 59, and Aimee R. Friz, 39, both of Huntingburg, each entered pleas to two counts of neglect of a dependent -- which are Level 6 felonies -- with convictions entered as Class A misdemeanors, according to the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to a news release from the Prosecutor's Office, Dubois Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp accepted the plea agreement, The Dubois County Herald reported.
According to the agreement, the couple will be required “to accept some level of responsibility for their actions and will require the (couple) to be supervised for a period of time.”
The couple was arrested in October 2017, WLKY reported. According to court documents, the couple converted their closet into a cage and locked their daughter in it every night for a month while depriving her of food and water, the television station reported.
Originally, Alan Friz was charged with 11 counts of criminal confinement, 11 counts of neglect, and four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, WXIN reported. Aimee Friz was charged with 11 counts of criminal confinement and 11 counts of neglect. All charges were felonies, the television station reported.
The couple's trial was originally supposed to be held in Dubois County, but they argued they would not get a fair trial at that venue, WLKY reported. The case was then moved to Crawford County and it was scheduled for March, The Herald reported.
“Although this plea clearly represents a lenient resolution for the defendants in light of the severity of the charges filed against them, this plea was offered with the input of the victim, her guardians, and others working closely with her,” a news release from the prosecutor’s office
The couple was sentenced to two years of probation. The first year will be supervised probation, and the remaining time is unsupervised, The Herald reported.
In a news release, Prosecutor Anthony D. Quinn said it was important for the victim to get on with her life.
“It was a difficult decision to offer this plea, difficult as a prosecutor and for the law enforcement officers who worked hard to build a solid case against the Friz’s,” Quinn said in the release. “Nevertheless, the case ultimately is about the victim.
"We felt continuing the trauma she has endured while this case has been pending, and by having to testify to a jury does not serve her best interests. I hope the victim continues to thrive in her new environment and continues on the path of healing.”