A Delaware County couple, who made state and national headlines after their young daughter died from swallowing a button battery, have been arrested, on charges of child abuse/neglect in connection with another child within their care.
Brian D. Florer and Stephanie Florer, both of Jay, were arrested after warrants were issued in Delaware County District Court, each for one felony count of child abuse/neglect.
Both were released on separate $20,000 appearance bonds, on Monday, Oct. 16. Court records indicate both Florers are set to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20.
"This is an unusual case," Delaware County District Attorney Kenny Wright said. "The physical aspects of abuse are there, but the psychological abuse is unbelievable."
Wright does not anticipate further charges against the Florers or others at this time, but said the "entire history of the case" will be examined.
He said numerous people, from school officials, family members and neighbors, each attempted to help the child, who is a biological child to one of the Florers.
"Everyone got little pieces of [the abuse]," Wright said. "It's one of the most unusual cases we've had."
About the charges
According to documents, filed by on Oct. 12 by Stephanie Bush, Delaware County Assistant District Attorney, the couple - while acting in concert with each other - "unlawfully, willfully, knowingly and wrongfully" committed the crime of child abuse/neglect from Jan. 1, 2015 to Sept. 20, 2017, in connection with a now 13-year-old child.
According to the report, the couple failed to provide "adequate nurturing, affection, food, clothing, sanitation, hygiene, medical and/or dental care" for the child during the almost two-year span.
In the filing, Bush alleges the couple committed "mental and physical abuse and social isolation," with the child, specifically withholding food, bedding, clothing, hitting her with a paddle, pulling "her through the house by her hair," repeatedly slapped her, and allowed other children in the home "to participate in the abuse against [the child]."
Bush's document states the couple would not allow the child to interact "with extended family at family events," was not "allowed to eat supper with the rest of the family" and was "forced to sleep on a dirty mattress on the floor with no bedding," which was in a room was kept locked at all times.
The child's clothing was also restricted, with the child made to "wear dirty clothing repeatedly to school."
The couple also allegedly forced the child to "sit or stand motionless or risk being paddled."
In the probable cause for arrest, filed by Delaware County Sheriff's Deputy Tracy Shaw, at least one school official reported keeping food at the school for the child and providing the child with clothing.
In the affidavit, Shaw said documented referrals made to DHS regarding the child began on Dec. 9, 2015, and continued until Sept. 9, 2017.
Shaw's report indicates that the couple allegedly "coached" the child "on what to say to DHS when questioned." Shaw said the couple would "drill [the child] on the questions and if [the child] got a word of the answer incorrect [the child] would get paddled."
The charges, against the couple, if convicted, carry up to a life sentence for each within the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections.
Editor's note: the story has been updated for a clarification, and with additional information since published in the Delaware County Journal on Wednesday, Oct. 18.