Harman And Smith Plead Not Guilty To Allegations Of Keeping Seven-Year-Old Boy In Cage
Two Albany County residents pleaded not guilty to all charges after allegations that they locked a seven-year-old boy in a cage.
Thirty-one-year-old Jena Harman and 38-year-old Alexander “George” Smith were both arraigned in Albany County District Court on Friday, September 19. Harman is the boy’s mother, and Smith is her boyfriend. Both are charged with one count of Aggravated Child Abuse and three counts of Felonious Restraint.
Aggravated Child Abuse hold a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. Felonious Restraint holds a maximum penalty of up to five years imprisonment.
Both Harman and Smith are tentatively scheduled to have their cases go to trial on March 2, 2015.
Court Document released by Albany County District Court outline Albany County Sheriff’s Deputies finding the boy in an outdoor cage the morning of July 24. According to the affidavit, police received an anonymous complaint that a child was being kept in a cage on Fox Creek Road. The caller informed police that the boy had spent a lot of time in the cage starting in June.
According to the affidavit, police located the boy who was in a cage that was approximately 6 feet by 6 feet square and five feet tall. The cage was made from cattle paneling and wooden snow fence with plywood covering half of the top of. The cage was secured with a chain “with a locking carabineer on one end, and a dog leash style latch on the other”, according to the documents.
Officers observed the child sitting on a cot inside the cage. Several pairs of shoes, a toothbrush, books, clothing, a jacket and a five gallon bucket were all found inside the cage as well.
The child was brought into protective custody at that time. According to the affidavit, neither Harman nor Smith seemed concerned about the child being taken into protective custody.
In addition, the affidavit released by District Court outlines seven welfare checks and one report of abuse ranging from August 2013 until May 2014. Complaints included the boy having injuries from possible abuse, wearing the same clothes to school multiple days in a row, his smelling of urine, not attending school and his being hungry and saying he did not eat much at home.
Both Harman and Smith are at the Albany County Detention Center on $100,000 cash bonds.