Foster parents plead no contest for starving boy

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 08:00:46-04

A shocking discovery, authorities say a 7-year-old boy was found weighing just 32 pounds.  His foster parents, Stephen Bauer and Megan Finlan, plead no contest to 5 counts of negligent child abuse resulting in serious injury in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday.


In November 2015, Florence Elementary School staff reported that the boy was underweight and had bruises on his body.


Finlan and Bauer admitted to not feeding the boy as punishment for perceived bad behavior.  He wouldn't get dinner for up to 3 days, and would also be locked in his room without being allowed to use the bathroom.


"She (Finlan) indicated she didn't think they did so for more than 3 days at a time and when she would then try to feed him a lot of food to compensate he would throw up as a result.  She stated during her interview that she knew it had gone too far,” Douglas Co. Deputy Prosecutor Molly Keane told the judge.


Since he weighed 32 pound, the boy has gained 14 pounds, grown 2 1/2 inches, and is happy with a new family.  Douglas Co. Attorney Don Kleine says they hope the boy can move past this torment.


"It's unimaginable. Thankfully the child is thriving, doing well now.  But it's hard to believe that someone could do something like this to a child,” Kleine explained.


Kleine says for these amended charges they will seek the maximum of 25 years in prison.


Finlan and Bauer refused to answer questions after court.