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Red Wing Couple Child Abuse Plead Not Guilty

A married Red Wing couple facing a total of 16 charges related to the alleged extensive abuse of their four children under 10 years old are pleading not guilty.

According to charges filed in Goodhue County District Court, 41-year old Benjamin Cotton, and 39-year old Christina Cotton are charged with with two counts of child torture, seven counts of neglect or endangerment of a child, and seven counts 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.

Goodhue County Health and Human Services began investigating the couple in August of 2022 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.

No trial date has been set.

Photo courtesy of Goodhue County Adult Detention.


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