CANYON COUNTY, Idaho — The principal of Star Middle School and his wife are accused of withholding food from two children and hitting them hard enough to leave bruises, according to the prosecutor's office.
Both Tony Nelson and Pamela Nelson were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on multiple counts of felony injury to a child. The pair turned themselves into police Friday.
According to the indictment, the abuse happened "under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death" sometime between January 2016 and January 2019. The Nelsons are accused of withholding food from the children to the point that they became malnourished, and hitting at least one of them with a spoon, leaving bruising on the boy's buttocks.
Tony Nelson also allowed one of the children to be "locked in a room and/or to be isolated causing extreme mental suffering," according to the indictment.
Officials have not released whether the victims are the couple's own children. Tony Nelson was placed on paid investigative leave by the West Ada School District.
He will remain on leave until the end of June when this year's contract expires. The district said it is waiting on the outcome of the legal process to determine if they renew his contract and if he will come back.
In order for a principal to be fired, the administration must bring the recommendation forward to the board of trustees, who then must approve the termination. At this time, no one has brought forward such recommendation to terminate Nelson from his position.
The Nelsons could face up to ten years in prison for each count if convicted.