Couple accused of forcing grandson to kneel for days face new charges

Albert and Nancy Cusson made first appearance

LAKELAND, Fla. - New charges have been filed against the couple accused of torturing their grandson by making him kneel all day for more than a week.

Investigators now say their granddaughter was forced to do the same thing, but for a shorter period of time.

In court today, Albert Cusson and his wife, Nancy, both took a turn before a judge -- Nancy was in a wheel chair.

The judge set bond at $30,000 and ordered that upon their release, they are not to be around children.

That's their punishment so far, for the extreme punishment they are accused of handing down to a 13-year-old boy that we have confirmed is their grandson.

"Can you imagine being on your knees with your hands behind your back for ten minutes?  And then try nine hours for ten days in a row," said Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County.

He simply calls it torture.

Judd said it all happened on the hard bathroom floor of the couple's Lakeland home. At night, investigators say the boy slept in the bathtub.

"And he was whipped on top of all of that," said Judd. "There's not adequate words to describe my anger and frustration at these two people."

Department of Children and Family spokesperson Carrie Hoeppner would not comment on how many complaints have been filed on the Cussons but did reveal more information on their grandson.

"The child in this case has been diagnosed with some profound mental health issues," she said. "But regardless, there's no excuse."

She said the boy was badly bruised and could hardly walk, but is now in protective custody.

Later in the day -- after the Cusson's appearance in court -- new charges were filed against the couple for the same type of abuse on the boy's sister.

"We're going to charge them with everything we can possibly criminally charge them with," said Judd. "Because they deserve it."

Outside the courtroom, the couple's private attorney, Kevin Humphries, urged the public not to rush to judgment, claiming there is more to the story.

"I don't believe these are evil people that are heinous and are attempting to torture their grandchildren," he said. "I think the facts will surface that that was not the case."

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