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Red Wing Couple Charged with Child Abuse

According to charges filed in Goodhue County District Court, a married Red Wing couple is facing a total of 16 charges related to the alleged extensive abuse of their four children under 10 years old.

41-year old Benjamin Cotton, and 38-year old Christina Cotton are each facing two counts of child torture, seven counts of neglect and four counts of malicious punishment of a child, all felonies.

They are also charged with three gross misdemeanor charges of malicious punishment of a child.

According to criminal complaints, the couple routinely held their young children in locked cages for 13 to 14 hours a day, beat them with a belt and withheld food and access to a bathroom.

The Goodhue County Health and Human Services began investigating the couple last August after a caller reported that they were keeping a 5-year-old locked up in a wooden "cage" and subjecting the child and three other children in the home, ages 9, 7 and 2 to neglect and unreasonable punishment.

Possible penalty for the couple ranges from a maximum of a year in prison to the lesser charges and up to 25 years in prison for the child torture charges.

The next hearing is set for July 12.

Picture: Goodhue County Jail

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