Town of Madison parents arrested on 75 counts in child abuse case - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Town of Madison parents arrested on 75 counts in child abuse case


Madison (WKOW) -- Signs of children still linger outside an apartment at 2721 Pheasant Ridge Trail in the town of Madison. 

  It has been quiet ever since last Thursday when a tip from a public service agency sent officers there as part of a child abuse investigation, according to police chief Scott Gregory.

There, they found a child with extensive injuries and arrested Porfirio Olivas-Lopez. 

  He tentatively faces 42 counts, 37 of those for child abuse and 3 for strangulation.

  Neighbors said the next day police then arrested the mother, Minerva Lopez. 

  She faces 33 counts, including 22 for abuse and five for strangulation.

  Those who lived in the same building regarded the Lopez's as friends.  "We would say hi, we would sit and talk," said Tasha Olmstead.  "She was nice. They seemed happy."

  Fellow neighbor Julia Lust said five children, including a newborn, lived together with their parents. 

  The neighbors said they never saw or heard evidence of abuse.

  "Never, never, not one time, never," said Andrea Mitchell, who added she had heard verbal arguments between the two parents.  Mitchell said she never heard one that appeared to involve children.

Lust said only one of the five children, the oldest, appeared less happy than the others.  "She was just really quiet, the older one was really quiet."  The neighbors said that girl was about midde- to high school aged and was the one police took to a hospital for injuries.  Town of Madison police won't confirm the identity of the children.

Lust, Mitchell, and Olmstead are left wondering what really happened when, on the outside, there seemed to be signs of happiness.  "They are some sweet people, but like we said, what goes on behind closed doors, goes on behind closed doors," said Olsmtead.

"I wish I could take them in, foster kid them, because they were the sweetest kids," said Lust.

Police chief Gregory said more details will likely be released when the criminal complaint is released.  Dane County assistant District Attorney Mike Verveer said that will likely happen when the two parents make an expected initial court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Verveer said Minerva Lopez had a bail hearing Tuesday. Bail was set yesterday at $25,000, according to Verveer.

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