Michael Gilman (Source: Sharp County Sheriff Office)
SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – The father accused of chaining his daughter to a bed for five weeks with a dog leash and a short piece of chain was sentenced in court on Tuesday.
According to the Sharp County Circuit Clerk's Office, Michael Gilman was found guilty on a level four felony charge for 1st degree False Imprisonment. He also was charged with a misdemeanor offense for endangering the welfare of a minor.
Gilman was sentenced to a sixty month probation for his felony charge and sixty days in the Sharp County Jail for endangering the welfare of a child.
On top of all that, he was issued a "No Contact Order" with the victim, including her school and residence. He is also ordered to not be in possession of weapons.
According to Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts, officers found Gilman's 11-year-old daughter chained to her bed by her ankle. Counts also says her 15 year old sister released her as soon as officers arrived.
"Some of the behavior of this child, the family is claiming they can't control, and a lot of what they did was for her safety," Det. Sgt. Ken Guidry said. "However, chaining a child to a bed, we just can't have that."
Guidry says investigating officers say her father felt this was the solution to the 11-year-old getting up in the middle of the night and getting into food, other people's belongings, and sometimes going door-to-door in the neighborhood.
They say he explained that he started chaining her up at night just before the first of the month to prevent her from getting into to trouble and that the girl was to be released when everyone got up in the morning.
"They claim that all the other remedies that they've tried, such as getting help through (the Department of Human Services) and other services, have failed," Guidry said, "and they can't afford a baby sitter so that was their solution."
When asked if he didn't think there was an alternative to control his daughter, Gilman said he had tried everything else and had been trying to deal with the problem for the past three years.
Police say three children were in the family, the 11- and 15-year-old girls, who were home schooled, and a 6-year-old boy, who was attending public school.
Counts says all three children were taken into the care of social services.
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