Eagan mom, stepdad get probation for punishing teen in odd ways

  • Updated: March 11, 2014 - 9:00 PM

An Eagan couple accused of forcing the woman’s 15-year-old son to do thousands of pushups and run miles outside in the cold, among other odd punishments, pleaded guilty last week to malicious punishment of a child.

Angela M. Danner, 43, entered a guilty plea Thursday to the gross misdemeanor before Dakota County District Judge Richard Spicer. She was given a stayed 90-day sentence and ordered to serve a year of probation and 120 hours of community service.

Gregory A. Danner, 45, entered an Alford plea, meaning he conceded there was enough evidence for a jury to convict him. He was given two years of probation and 120 hours of community service.

After the two were charged in November 2012, the boy went to live with his father.

The teen went to police in April 2012 and told investigators that his mother and stepfather removed his bed and the lights from his basement bedroom and blocked the windows to prevent sunlight from entering. He was forced to sleep on the floor with a blanket and pillow.

The boy said that the Danners limited his showers and told him he could shower at his father’s house when he was there for visits. He was told to ask his dad to buy laundry soap for him and to wash his clothes in the bathtub or sink, the criminal complaints said.

Over the next month, the teen said he was required to stay in his room whenever he was at home, except to use to the restroom and do exercises. He said his sister would bring him peanut-butter sandwiches for dinner every night.

He often had to do 1,500 to 2,000 pushups per day, run outside “in very cold conditions” for several miles and do a “wall chair” exercise for 20 minutes to an hour.

Pat Pheifer

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