Edgewood woman gets 4-year term for torturing boy

May 12, 2000|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A 34-year-old Edgewood woman was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for torturing her 14-year-old son.

Gwendolyn Massenberg of the 1700 block of Harbinger Trail was sentenced by Harford Circuit Judge William O. Carr after she pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. Police said Massenberg and her husband handcuffed the teen-ager and poured boiling water on him.

Child-abuse charges were dropped yesterday in exchange for the guilty plea, said Mark Nelson, assistant state's attorney. He said the plea agreement means the boy will not have to testify in the case.

Massenberg and her husband, Anthony Massenberg, 29, of the same address were charged with child abuse and assault in January after the boy stumbled into the Harford Sheriff's Department with a handcuff dangling from his leg and asked for help.

The youth told investigators that he had been beaten and abused for not knowing the whereabouts of several videotapes.

Nelson said Anthony Massenberg's trial will begin in the next few months.

Massenberg is the youth's biological aunt, but the couple took in the boy and his two siblings as foster children, police said.

Charging documents said the youth suffered "bruises, welts, knots, cuts and blisters" on his head, neck, torso, arms and legs.

When deputies arrested the Massenbergs, they found the teen-ager's 11-year-old brother in the woods behind the home, cowering in a fetal position with cuts and bruises on his body.

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