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Sheriff’s office probes Mann abuse report

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office on Friday verified that a local school called 911 more than a year ago to report suspicions that child abuse was occurring in a recently arrested South Kitsap couple’s home, but could not detail what if any staff response followed the alert.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said he found a record of a 911 call placed on March 11, 2004, at around 11:30 a.m. from a staff member at Burley-Glenwood Elementary School. Wilson said the reporting party, a school counselor, detailed concerns that at least one of the three adopted grandchildren living in Judith Kay and Larry Lee Mann’s home was being beaten, possibly with glue sticks.

Wilson said there was no case number assigned to the report, and he was uncertain how his office responded to the incident. He said it was most likely assigned to the office’s school resource officer at the time, but that the staff member in question has since resigned.

Wilson said he was looking into the matter, but was not certain he would be able to contact the former officer.

Wilson said during interviews investigators conducted with the children last week, the victims said they had been beaten with glue sticks and a hose, along with being tied up.

While searching the home, Wilson said deputies found both new and discarded zip-ties, but no glue sticks, glue guns or the described hose.

The Manns — Judith, 61, and Larry, 66 — were each charged last week with assaulting and restraining their adopted grandchildren, an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.

The alleged abuse came to light when the boy was found walking, dirty and barefoot, in the middle of the night with a plastic zip-tie around his ankle. He told the deputy who found him he had been tied up in the Manns’ home for several days as “punishment,” and his sister was still tied up.

The Manns were arrested later that day, June 11, and at the time, Sheriff Steve Boyer said he was unaware of any past abuse incidents being reported regarding the Manns.

However, last Wednesday South Kitsap School District spokeswoman Aimee Warthen revealed that a district employee suspected that at least one of the children was being mistreated while all three were enrolled at Burley-Glenwood Elementary School.

“As per district procedure, the counselor notified both Child Protective Services (CPS) and called 911,” Warthen said, explaining that she read the CPS report that was completed following the school counselor’s referral, but she could not speak to its contents or elaborate on how many of the three children were involved.

Warthen said all three children were pulled out of the school late last year when Judith Mann filed a “parental declaration of intent for home instruction.”

Judith Mann, after having her arraignment delayed a week so her lawyer could evaluate her competency, is expected in court this afternoon. Her husband is awaiting an Aug. 8 trial date.

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