Father indicted on misdemeanor charge for locking daughter in dog cage

A Springfield Township father has been indicted on a misdemeanor charge for binding his daughter with duct tape and locking her in a dog cage.

James Tapke, 41, was indicted on one count of unlawful restraint. If convicted, he faces 60 days in jail.

Prosecutors say Tapke put duct tape on his 12-year-old daughter's hands, feet and mouth and then put her in a dog cage that was for the family's bull mastiff. The daughter is alleged to have been in the cage for no more than a matter of minutes and told investigators that she would often voluntarily get in the cage to play or sleep with the dog.

The Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services investigated and ordered the father out of the home. The child lives with her paternal grandparents, who have legal custody of the child.

The girl was not injured and did not require any medical treatment. The case was brought to investigators' attention after the girl's brother posted photos on Facebook. The photos have since been removed.

"While the initial allegations were shocking, I think the grand jury made the correct call," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. "This definitely does not rise to the level of a felony. Fortunately the victim was not injured. Referrals have been given to the family to help with the family dynamics that gave rise to this situation."

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