Mother pleads guilty in case of filthy, starving boys found in apartment

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Couple charged with child abuse

Couple charged with child abuse

DENVER — Half of a couple charged with forcing their four young sons to live in squalor pleaded guilty to felony child abuse on Friday.

Lorinda Bailey, 35, faces up to seven years in prison after police found her children, ages 2 to 6, filthy and starving inside an apartment at East 18th Avenue and Emerson Street last fall.

The boys’ father, 66-year-old Wayne Sperling, also faces multiple counts of felony child abuse. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 17 to review the findings of a competency evaluation, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said.

Neighbors said they often saw the boys running outside, unsupervised, in diapers. But the abuse finally came to light in 2013, after attorney David Littman saw the boys from an adjacent building that he owns, pushing each other in a windowsill eight feet above the ground.

“There are places where these boys, if they fell, could impale themselves and we made a decision to call the police,” Littman said at the time.

He said the kids were removed for several months but then they were returned to the home again.

When officials returned in October to remove the children for good, they found the apartment swarming with flies and covered in human and animal waste, according to an affidavit.

Police said the boys were not toilet trained and had not been taught to speak. The affidavit further states that the children were not enrolled in school and had possibly never seen a doctor.