ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – A man from Orlando, Florida, will now spend the rest of his life in prison for abusing his stepson.
Timothy Lee Wilson, 36, was arrested and found guilty on numerous counts of false imprisonment, aggravated child abuse and child neglect in June, after a server at the Mrs. Potato restaurant in Orlando noticed that an 11-year-old child was being kept from eating by his family on New Year’s Day.
The server, identified as Flaviane Carvalho, also noticed bruising on the 11-year-old’s face and arms, prompting her to hold up a sign — out of Wilson’s sight — to get the boy’s attention.
“Do you need help?” the sign read.
When the child nodded that he did, Carvalho called the police.
Further investigation found that Wilson tortured and abused his stepson in a variety of ways, the State Attorney’s Office for Orange and Osceola Counties wrote in a news release upon his conviction in June. Police said the child’s mother, Kristen Swann, knew of the abuse and did not get the boy medical care.
“[The child] had been tortured, maliciously punished, and deprived of food and water for days at a time,” according to the news release. “A search warrant revealed that the victim was kept in a separate hotel room used for storage, away from Mr. Wilson, the victim’s mother, and the younger sibling.”
The boy was also made to do “military-style exercises” and “hung upside down from a door by his neck and feet, and at one point, handcuffed to a dolly cart on Christmas Day,” the State Attorney wrote.
Orlando Rolón, the then-Orlando chief of police, believed at the time that the boy could have possibly died had Wilson’s abuse continued.
“We probably would’ve been talking about a potential homicide investigation if [Carvalho] had not intervened when she did,” Chief Rolón said.
On June 6, a six-person jury found Wilson guilty of two counts of false imprisonment of a child under 13, three counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect.
Wilson was sentenced to life on Friday morning, a judicial assistant at the Orange County Courthouse confirmed. Specifically, he was sentenced to multiple life sentences and multiple 30-year sentences, to run concurrently.
The victim’s mother, meanwhile, was charged with two counts of child neglect.