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Newark Couple Charged With Keeping 6-Year-Old Boy In Basement

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Authorities say a central Ohio couple has been charged with child endangering for allegedly keeping a 6-year-old boy locked up most of the time in an unfinished basement.

The mother of the child and her boyfriend appeared in court on Wednesday in Newark. They were arrested the previous day after county children's services received a complaint.

Criminal complaints filed in Licking County court say the child was routinely locked in a basement room when he wasn't in school and was often beaten with a belt. He was forced to eat his meals and sleep there.

The couple said the boy was treated that way for disciplinary reasons.

The Associated Press isn't identifying them to protect the child's identity.

Court records didn't list attorneys for the couple.