Mother sentenced to prison for chaining 5-year-old in bathroom so she could go to work

A woman in Kaohsiung City has been sentenced to a three-month prison term for leaving her 5-year-old daughter chained by the neck in a bathroom while she went to work.

According to the Kaohsiung District Court, on October 15, 2022, the 30-year-old single mother, named Lee, fed her daughter lunch, then tied a chain around her neck and attached the other end to a crossbar in the shower cubicle of her apartment’s bathroom. Lee then went to work.

The girl yelled for help until she caught the attention of the building’s security guard. The guard called police, and a locksmith opened the apartment door.

In her defense, Lee claimed that she was worried that her daughter may have an accident or left the apartment if left alone.

After an investigation, Lee was charged on suspicion of deprivation of liberty.

The court determined that Lee’s behavior was inappropriate, and might have caused physical and psychological damage to the child. Lee was sentenced to three months in prison for intentionally depriving a person of their freedom of movement. The judge said that according to the law, the sentence could not be commuted to a fine, but Lee is allowed to apply to serve the sentence by doing community service (social labor). The sentence is appealable.

The Kaohsiung City Social Affairs Bureau said that if parents need temporary care for their children, they can make reservations on the Social Affairs Bureau website. The bureau urged parents not to leave children under 6 years old alone.

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