Charles and Virginia Holsinger appeared in Boyle District Court Tuesday for their preliminary hearing.
The testimony centered on claims that Charles and Virginia Holsinger didn't provide their children with enough food and that the fact that they forced their children to live with animals and animal waste. Police said when they showed up to investigate all of this, the parents did not cooperate.
“Given the current investigative state, we felt the children were in danger,” Det. Patrick McQueen testified during Tuesday’s preliminary hearing in Boyle District Court.
Three boys, ages 9 to 13, were found in one room.
“They were obviously malnourished,” Det. McQueen said.
Police even said the 9 and 12-year-olds told them that hunger was a common problem.
“That feeding at best was irregular. The 12-year-old said he would frequently have hunger that was not addressed. That he would bring it up and was told he could not have any more food,” McQueen said.
Police say they found one room of the house occupied by animals: 3 dogs, 3 chickens and hamsters.
“There was a statement made that as a form of punishment they were told to go to an area that smelled of urine,” McQueen said.
Under cross examination, there was talk of an accident that left the children with brain injuries and that they suffered from other medical conditions. Detective McQueen said the children were not deliberately starved, and often the 13-year-old child boy took care of the younger ones.
“Would be anywhere from sometimes a sandwich to an orange or an apple, particularly at breakfast. All claimed the older child made breakfast for them,” said Det. McQueen.
After agreeing to send the grand jury a lesser charge of criminal abuse second degree, the judge agreed to lower the Holsingers’ bond from $100,000 cash to $10,000 cash.