An Ohio couple charged with abandoning the 9-year-old son they adopted and raised since infancy and then allegedly returned to children's services, saying that the child was displaying aggressive behavior, now hope to be reunited with him, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities allege that Cleveland and Lisa Cox left the boy with children's services after saying he threatened the family with a knife. Documents filed by the prosecutor say the parents didn't tell the boy when they left him that he wouldn't be returning home, AP reports.
Anthony VanNoy, attorney for the couple, said that the boy has gotten some much-needed help and the parents have attended counseling sessions with him.
The attorney told AP that the Coxes are visiting with the boy after a brief pretrial hearing and that they have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of nonsupport of dependents.
"The whole goal of the contact with children services has always been to get help for the child," VanNoy told AP.
VanNoy said that the couple has received support and letters from adoptive parents who have had similar experiences with children.
"The blessing is that there has been an awareness of people that there are families that are struggling and they need help," the attorney told AP.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser wouldn't comment on specifics of the case but told AP that he was encouraged by VanNoy's remarks.
"One always hopes in a long process such as this that there is a silver lining," Gmoser said.
The Coxes are prepared to go to trial Feb. 10 and have not sought any plea offers. If convicted they could each face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.