Raleigh couple charged with child abuse make first court appearances
A 13-year-old Raleigh girl who police say suffered abuse from her father and step-mother was treated differently than her siblings and wasn't allowed to talk to anyone but her parents for two years, according to court documents.
The girl told police "that over the past two years, the parents have exposed the child to extreme isolation and ostracism," a Raleigh police detective wrote in a search warrant application made public recently. "The child was not allowed to communicate at any time with her own siblings or any other people with the exception of her parents."
Last week, police charged Lindsey Michelle Smith, 38, and Russell Jay Smith, 47, with negligent child abuse inflicting serious injury, a felony. Police believe the abuse started in April 2016.
The Smiths are accused of keeping the child extremely isolated, smacking her, pulling her hair and forcing her to stand for hours in a corner as punishment.
"The parents treated the victim differently from the rest of their children and did not subject the rest of the children to the same type of discipline and environment," the detective wrote.
Police were sent to the Smiths' $750,000 house at 7505 Spyglass Way in North Raleigh on May 30 in response to a reported assault. They charged Russell Smith with misdemeanor assault, accusing him of hitting his 17-year-old daughter with his hand and leaving a bruise over her eye.
After talking to the 13-year-old, police asked Wake County Child Protective Services to join the case. The five children living in the house were removed May 31, according to the detective, J.D. Fox.
Fox said the 13-year-old girl's statement to police was "consistent with the statements made by other children from this residence." The girl was pulled out of school two years ago and was not being properly educated, according to the detective.
Lindsey and Russell Smith were each held on $100,000 bail, but they have been released from the Wake County Detention Center, records show.