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Published January 09, 2014, 08:08 PM

Guilty plea in Emerado, N.D., child neglect case

An Emerado, N.D., man pleaded guilty Thursday to felony abuse or neglect of his teenage disabled son, admitting the boy was found by police unfed in a bed wearing only a urine-soaked diaper and t-shirt in a home filled with animal urine and feces.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

An Emerado, N.D., man pleaded guilty Thursday to felony abuse or neglect of his teenage disabled son, admitting the boy was found by police unfed in a bed wearing only a urine-soaked diaper and t-shirt in a home filled with animal urine and feces.

Richard Elskoe, 48, reached a deal with prosecutors who will recommend he serve a year in jail with two additional years suspended during supervised probation.

Meredith Larson, the assistant state’s attorney for Grand Forks County prosecuting the case, said social workers asked sheriff’s deputies to assist them in October in checking on the boy, who had not been attending school.

They found the boy, who is developmentally disabled, had not been cleaned for some time and “his body odor was overwhelming,” Larson told state District Judge Sonja Clapp.

Another child also was in the trailer home at the time and there were other signs of “severe neglect,” Larson said.

Two other children also had been living in the trailer home.

Elskoe’s wife, Kimberly Elskoe, 39, pleaded guilty to a similar felony charge in December, with prosecutors agreeing to recommend she serve six months of a one-year sentence.

Richard Elskoe admitted Larson’s account of the situation was accurate, but told Clapp he had taken the boy to appointments for medical and mental health care.

The boy is Richard Elskoe’s biological child and not related to Kimberly Elskoe.

Social services is involved in ensuring the care and custody of the children, Larson said.

Kimberly Elskoe is slated to be sentenced next month. Her husband is scheduled to be sentenced April 2.

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