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No prison time for parents of 7

But not to see kids for 6 years

Clark
Boyko

– Robert Boyko and Marian Clark are not headed to prison for neglecting their seven children in January.

But they won’t have any contact with those children for at least six years, under the terms of the plea agreement reached with the couple and made public Friday.

Boyko, 42, and Clark, 41, were arrested in January after their seven children – ranging in age from a week old to 14 years old – were found living in squalor in a Fort Wayne motel room.

The couple brought attention on themselves when one of them called Neighborhood Code Enforcement to complain about the lack of heat in their motel room at the Hallmark Inn, 3730 E. Washington Blvd.

When code officers got there, they called the police after finding the children in “deplorable” conditions inside a urine-soaked room with food strewn about. Some of the children were zip-tied to chairs and car seats. None was dressed appropriately for the cold and snow, according to court documents.

The children were eating food from the floor, which was also being used as a bathroom by two cats and a dog.

Some of the children had red feet and hands for having been outside in an unheated van with temperatures dropping below 10 degrees. An infant girl was taken to the hospital and put in intensive care, suffering from hypothermia and jaundice.

During Friday’s guilty plea hearing, Boyko and Clark answered Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull’s questions quietly and simply. Boyko spoke slowly and expressed concern to his attorney about how the felony convictions would affect his Social Security disability payments.

The two each pleaded guilty to seven Class D felony counts of neglect of a dependant. One of the charges each faced had been a more serious count of Class C felony neglect, but the count was amended and lessened in severity.

In exchange for their guilty pleas, the two will each be given a prison sentence of six years, but that term will be suspended and they will be placed on probation for four years.

They must abide by a court order prohibiting any contact with their children for the duration of the suspended prison sentence.

Gull will sentence them in July.

rgreen@jg.net

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