Stepgrandparents, stepmom charged in ‘unimaginable’ child abuse case, prosecutors say

Stepgrandparents of a 13-year-old boy at the center of an "unimaginable" child abuse case are now in custody. (Source: WXIX)
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 12:45 PM AKDT
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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX/Gray News) – Multiple family members are facing charges for abusing a 13-year-old boy in Ohio for more than three years, according to prosecutors and police.

Officials said the boy was abused by his stepmother and stepgrandparents, and his biological father is accused of allowing the abuse to continue.

The boy’s stepgrandparents – Armin Rodriguez, 70, and Susan Rodriguez, 67 – were booked into the Hamilton County jail late Monday on charges of child endangering and complicity. They were held overnight without bond and will be arraigned on June 30, according to court records.

Court records say the couple “recklessly tortured or cruelly abused the victim.”

They are accused of making the boy stand in a spare room for hours on end without being allowed to use the bathroom, beating him with a belt, withholding food from him, and monitoring him with cameras.

Susan Rodriguez and Armin Rodriguez are held without bond at the Hamilton County Justice Center.
Susan Rodriguez and Armin Rodriguez are held without bond at the Hamilton County Justice Center.(Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

The couple’s daughter, Amy Rodriguez Dangel – the child’s stepmother – was indicted in February on 11 counts of endangering children for abusing the boy, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Dangel beat her stepson with belts and spoons, starved him, strapped him to a bed, and forced him to stand in a corner for hours on end without access to a restroom.

Anthony Dangel, the boy’s biological father and a now-former lieutenant with the Miami Township Fire Department, is accused of doing nothing to stop his wife from abusing his son. He was indicted for one count of endangering children.

Miami Township Trustee Mike Robison told WXIX that Anthony Dangel was originally placed on unpaid administrative leave when the board of trustees learned of his arrest and the charges. The board voted at their March 16 meeting to terminate his employment, Robison said.

Delhi Township police said the investigation took many months to complete. Relatives told WXIX that the victim has a long road ahead of him. He currently walks with a limp, suffers from intense pain and has emotional trauma.

His aunt, Heather Coombs, said her sister Lisa Dangel, the victim’s biological mother, died in January 2016.

The child involved is now safe with family members who love him, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

“The torture perpetrated on this young child is unimaginable,” Deters said. “I hope, in time, he will heal from the horrible things that have been done to him. We will do everything in our power to ensure no child suffers at the hands of the Rodriguez family again.”

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