Liberty Twp. mom pleads guilty in child abandonment case

Lisa and Cleveland Cox
Lisa and Cleveland Cox

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) – - A Liberty Township woman pleaded guilty Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court to one count of attempted abandonment for returning her 9-year-old adopted son with special needs to county authorities.

A Butler County grand jury on Nov. 13 indicted Lisa Cox, 49, and her husband -- Cleveland Cox -- on one misdemeanor count each of nonsupport of dependents. The charges allege they recklessly abandoned or failed to provide adequate support for the boy.

Authorities said the couple returned the boy to Butler County Children Services in October. The parents cited "aggressive behavior" as their reason for returning him to the state.

"Because the mother has accepted responsibility and is accountable for her actions by her plea of guilty and the reunification between the parents and child that is taking place, her plea of guilty to attempted abandonment, one step down, is justified and warranted," Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said in a statement.

Gmoser said the criminal charge against Cleveland Cox, 49, "was dismissed because of the negative impact a conviction would have on his security clearance. This case was never intended to do more harm than good and jeopardizing his employment would not have been in the best interest of justice or society."

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