According to a Law and Crime report on Friday, September 29, 2023, a Florida father is set to stand trial this week for allegedly imprisoning and abusing his 14-year-old adopted son.
The case came to light in December 2021 when a contractor Ferriter had hired to build an “office” in his garage thought the project was strange.
The 8×8 foot room had a door that locked from the outside, a ceiling, electricity, air conditioning, and a surveillance camera inside.
A month later, Ferriter’s adopted son was reported missing but returned home shortly after.
When police came to check on the boy, the family was reluctant to let them in but eventually allowed an officer to look around.
The officer noticed the peculiar room in the garage that was sparsely furnished with just a mattress, sheet, pillow, and desk.
The family gave conflicting stories about the room’s purpose.
The next day, police found the missing boy at his school.
He told them he slept locked in the room each night and could only come out to use the bathroom and go to school. He said he felt unloved and didn’t feel safe at home because the family would “get really aggressive.”
He described being slammed against a wall, spit on, and beaten with a belt.
He had to use a bucket to relieve himself in the room.
Police reviewed Ring camera footage that showed Ferriter yelling at the boy, tossing his mattress, and forcing him to empty his bathroom bucket.
The boy pleaded with police not to send him back home, saying he’d rather be in prison than with his family.
Ferriter and his wife Tracy were arrested in February 2022.
Their trials were severed at Ferriter’s request since his wife made inconsistent statements.
Ferriter pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea deal.
His defense claims the boy had “reactive attachment disorder” and was dangerous.
Jury selection for Ferriter’s trial begins this week, with opening statements next week. He and his wife bonded out of jail after their arrests.
The case shines a disturbing light on the abuse some adopted children face.
Even if the room was initially meant as an office, the way it was used against the boy was inhumane.
The boy’s statements show he felt trapped, unloved, and afraid in a situation no child should have to endure.
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