Child abused by step-mother endured ‘unimaginable’ abuse from step-grandparents: prosecutor

The victim’s step-grandparents have been indicted on child abuse charges in a separate investigation.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 12:40 PM EDT
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HAMILTON COUNTY (WXIX) - The parents of a local mother who is facing charges in a child abuse case have now also been indicted, as they are accused of abusing the same child.

Court documents show Armin and Susan Rodriguez have been indicted on charges of endangering children and complicity. Records state the charges are because the two “recklessly tortured or cruelly abused the victim.”

The victim in the case is the step-grandchild of Armin and Susan.

Prosecutors confirm Armin and Susan are the parents of Amy Rodriguez Dangel, who was indicted in February for 11 counts of endangering children. Amy’s husband, Anthony Dangel, a local fire department lieutenant, was also indicted for one count of endangering children.

FOX19 NOW has learned Delhi Township Police believe Armin, Susan, and Amy Rodriguez all abused the same child, one of Amy’s two step-sons.

Delhi Township Police say they discovered there was possible abuse with the victim’s step-grandparents and started looking into it. Police said the investigation took many months to complete, and they worked with Cheviot Police, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that anyone would be abused and much less be abused by somebody that’s trusted and loved,” said Delhi Lt. Joe Macaluso. “It was heartbreaking to investigate, and I’m happy that we’re able to have some kind of conclusion with this indictment.”

According to prosecutors, it is believed that Armin and Susan not only knew of Amy’s alleged abuse, but they are responsible for acts of abuse in their own home.

The two are accused of making the victim stand in a spare room for hours on end. During that time, the child was reportedly not allowed to use the restroom. Prosecutors believe the victim was monitored with cameras too.

Armin and Susan, according to investigators, also beat the victim with a belt and would withhold food from him.

The complicity charges Armin and Susan are facing stem from allegations that the two “aided or abetted Amy Dangel to commit the offense of endangering children,” according to court documents.

[RELATED: Aunt of alleged victim in ‘horrific’ child abuse case calls nephew strong, inspiring]

As for Amy Rodriguez Dangel’s ongoing case, Cheviot Police believe the mother abused her 13-year-old stepson for three years inside a home on Trevor Avenue.

Prosecutors allege Amy beat him with belts and spoons, starved him, strapped him to a bed and forced him to stand in a corner for hours on end without access to a restroom.

Anthony Dangel, the child’s father and a former lieutenant with the Miami Township Fire Department, is accused of doing nothing to stop his wife from committing the abuse.

Relatives have reported that the 13-year-old has a long road ahead of him because he currently walks with a limp, suffers from intense pain and has emotional trauma.

Heather Coombs, the biological aunt of the alleged victim, said her sister, the victim’s mother, Lisa Dangel, died in January 2016. Coombs said her nephew is now in the care of her family and is on the road to recovery.

Mike Robison, who is a Miami Township trustee, says Anthony was originally placed on unpaid administrative leave once the board of trustees learned of his arrest and the charges.

The board then voted at their regular monthly meeting on March 16 to terminate Anthony’s employment, Robison said.

Amy was also employed by the fire department until December 2019, according to the department fire chief.

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