Man charged with child abuse after forcing teen to withdraw from school to monitor incapacitated individual
A man is facing child abuse charges after investigators say he pulled a teen out of school two years ago to monitor an incapacitated individual.
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Joseph Matey, 47, of Mary Esther, on child abuse.
Deputies say Matey pulled a teen out of school in 2017. The victim says he was told he could enroll in a different school, but it never happened. Investigators say the teen was required to spend up to 14 hours monitoring an incapacitated individual. Deputies say the teen had to stay awake and alert, monitor medical equipment such as a ventilator and checking vital signs, as well as feeding and caring for the individuals needs.
They say the teen was also required to work alongside Matey after his "watch" so he was only getting five hours of sleep a night.
Deputies say an evaluation by a licensed psychologist determined the teen shows effects of "educational deprivation" and mental injury due to the exploitation.