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Child abuse pair claim ‘Bible is the only defence we need’

Child abuse pair claim ‘Bible is the only defence we need’

A father and son accused of child abuse are relying on their Bibles rather than on lawyers at a trial that began in Ohio yesterday.

According to this report, Esten Ciboro, 28, and his father Timothy Ciboro, 53, above, are charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, rape, and endangering children for allegedly shackling a 13-year-old girl by the ankle in their basement and sexually assaulting her and a younger child in their North Toledo home.

At a pretrial hearing on Friday, Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings agreed to allow the Ciboros to bring their Bibles with them as they act as their own attorneys in the case. But she cautioned them that they wouldn’t be able to use it to question witnesses.

It’s the court’s opinion that while the Bible is very important, it is not a law book in a court of law.

Esten Ciboro made the request, saying he believed the Bible was:

Vital to our defence. There’s a great deal of strategy in Scripture and I use those strategies in everything I do. It’s a vital part of everything I do.

Timothy said it would be like tying their hands behind their back if they:

Can’t use God’s holy word to ask questions, questions that we believe are absolutely vital to our case.

The pair have been in jail since May when a 13-year-old girl escaped from their home and reported that she had been shackled in the basement on and off for several years. They were subsequently indicted on charges they sexually abused her. Timothy also faces rape charges involving another child.

When the trial began yesterday, Jennifer Reed, an assistant county prosecutor, painted a dark picture of the Ciboros’ home where three young children had been left in Timothy’s care. She said the evil was uncovered last May 18 when Karen Loudermill saw a 13-year-old girl who had run away, talked with her, and contacted police.

[The girl] described a crime scene at 825 Noble Street, a scene that included her instruments of captivity …  In the house [police] found those handcuffs, those chains exactly where [the victim] said they would be — down in a basement with spider webs, a bucket of ammonia, and a bucket for the child to sit on.

The girl’s ankles were scarred around the ankles because of the ongoing shackling she endured, Ms Reed said.

Her prison was both physical and mental.

In his opening statement, Timothy Ciboro reminded the jury that anyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

When things are presented to the jury here, the truth needs to come out. The truth needs to come out, and we need you to know the facts. Are they the facts of what they’re saying happened or are they the truth? We want the truth to come out.

He and his son both made references to Bible stories they felt paralleled their own situation – stories in which things were not as they appeared. For example:

A long time ago, a man was brought before a judge, and the judge asked what he had done and the people that brought him said to the judge, if he wasn’t guilty we wouldn’t have brought him before you. The judge investigated the matter and he found no fault with him.

The trial is expected to last all week.

15 responses to “Child abuse pair claim ‘Bible is the only defence we need’”

  1. Matt says:

    After years of reading about cases like this where religious fanatics perpetrate horrors such as this whist keeping an outward demeanour of piety, and I suspect an inwardly fanatical belief in fantastically unbelievable dogma, I am feel almost immune to shock. Same old, same old, same old evil going on by those who claim divine warrant. Need any more proof that religions cause pernicious mental illness.

  2. Matt says:

    ‘I swear on the holy bible to speak the bullshit, the whole bullshit and nothing but the bullshit. So help me god’.

    Isn’t it time to stop using the bible for the pupose of swearing oaths. It’s a book of lies and has no truth in it at all.

  3. AgentCormac says:

    And so we are back to defining what are facts in this so-called ‘post-truth world’ of ours. I’m sure the Ciboros will be presenting their ‘alternative facts’, à la White House aide Kellyanne Conway. And no doubt anything submitted by experts will be dismissed out of hand as having no value. Come to think of it, just set the fuckers free – it’s their society we’re all living in now. Who needs facts, the truth or specialist insight when you’ve got a psychotic deity, Donald Trump and Nigel fuckwit Farage to tell us what’s right and wrong?

  4. Peter Sykes says:

    Matt:
    Not strictly true, the printer’s name at the front is usually true…

  5. Matt says:

    And I guess the Title is correct too.

    Does it say “The End” at the end.

    Does it carry a printed “Health Warning”? If not it should … “This book can seriously damage your mental health”

    Does it carry a disclaimer … “All characters portrayed herein have no basis in fact and are not intended to bear any resemblance to any actual living, historical or future figures”.

    Is the ISBN number coded for fiction?

  6. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    If they did what is alleged, then I for one don’t give a fig for what’s in the bible.

  7. Stephen Mynett says:

    Matt, there are some good warning stickers about which often end up on the front of hotel bibles, the one in a room I regularly stay in at a friendly pub/B+B has one, it is the only reason the new atheist landlord has not thrown it out. I will get the details next time I am there is I remember.

  8. L.Long says:

    Too bad I would never be allowed on the jury…they would pay dearly!

  9. SimonJ says:

    In uk you can “affirm”instead of swearing on the bibble. I have done this when I served on a jury.
    SimonJ

  10. Edwin Salter says:

    Perhaps we can look forward to them advertising how scripture can justify what they did?

  11. John the Drunkard says:

    If this is how they look when cleaned up for court, I wonder how they presented in the neighborhood? Were they physically isolated from view? Did they engage in public displays of piety, or were they below the radar? How on earth were they ever given custody of 3 children?

  12. barriejohn says:

    When I first came across this story, I assumed that they were going to read from the Bible to show that God sanctioned behaviour such as theirs on numerous occasions, but I see (upon closer inspection) that they are claiming that the abuse didn’t take place. Still, an interesting idea, don’t you think?

    Right on cue:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/01/24/the-story-of-king-david-as-explained-by-an-atheist-who-actually-read-the-bible/

  13. StephenJP says:

    The Bible is a useful book. You can find in it a text to support virtually any viewpoint or action under the sun. It is not clear what these two unpleasant characters are going to do with it, but a smart lawyer should be able to find a counter-text to refute any Bible-based mitigation they try to put forward.

  14. Brian Jordan says:

    It’s the court’s opinion that while the Bible is very important, it is not a law book in a court of law.
    A few strokes of Trump’s pen, and who knows?

  15. John says:

    You forgot to mention the ‘comfort dog near the witness stand’, mentioned in the Toledo Blade report.
    Do you have something against comfort dogs?
    Please keep us updated with the progress – or otherwise – of this case.