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Attorney: Couple that locked children in closet ‘worked hard’ to become better parents

 

KINGMAN – A local judge has decided he will not put a Kingman couple in jail for abusing three of their six kids.

Diana Didomizio, 39, and Robert Didomizio, 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse involving boys 11, 12 and 14 years of age.

 

Kingman Police launched an investigation last June when a Department of Child Services employee advised she discovered that children had been kept in a closet that locked from the outside and that there were signs of malnourishment, as well.

One of the siblings had indicated the parents sometimes used the closet to secure a mildly mentally challenged 11-year-old for most of a day.

“I would like to apologize for what I have done to the children,” Diana Didomizio tearfully told the court during an April 13 sentencing hearing. “I wish I could go back and make it better.”

Legal Defender Ron Gileo told Judge Billy Sipe that the Didomizios have worked hard to become better parents through courses and counseling offered by state officials.

“We've learned from our mistakes,” Diana Didomizio told Sipe.

Prosecutor David Wayt encouraged the court to impose significant jail time for the parenting failures and child abuse. Gileo countered that state officials feel the Didomizios are prepared to be good parents, that the children have been returned to them and that the family is reunified.

“You can't lock children up in a closet. That is child abuse and is very inappropriate,” Sipe told the woman. “I would love to incarcerate you and your husband.”

Sipe, however, said that he determined jailing the couple would only further traumatize children who want to be with their parents. Sipe their mother on probation for four years and directed her to perform 120 hours of community work service.

Robert Didomizio will be sentenced April 25. Sipe indicated he, too, would get a term of probation.

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