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UPDATE: Trial for torture/imprisonment of Hardin Co. boy underway

Alex Shadlow (left) and Traci Tyler. Alex Shadlow left) and Traci Tyler.

A prosecutor says an Iowa woman accused in the torture and basement confinement of her boyfriend's 8-year-old son took video of his treatment.

Posted: Feb. 6, 2019 8:25 AM
Updated: Feb. 6, 2019 3:55 PM

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman accused of helping torture her boyfriend's 8-year-old son and confining him in a basement took video of the boy's treatment, a prosecutor said at the beginning of her trial.

"This part of the crime is on tape," prosecutor Tyler Buller said Tuesday as he began to lay out his case against Traci Tyler, 40. Buller told Judge James Ellefson he would see the boy, desperate to use the bathroom, in so much pain "he eventually loses control of his bodily function and urinates."

Tyler and Alex Shadlow locked the boy in their home, in a space under the basement stairs, for at least nine hours a day in the summer of 2017, prosecutors have said. The two are both charged with kidnapping.

The boy told authorities they withheld food from him and made him sleep on concrete and use a tin cup for a toilet. Tyler also urged her dog to attack the boy, which left scars on his back and limbs, the documents said.

The boy's school alerted investigators after the boy talked about what he said his life was like at the home in Ackley.

One of Tyler's attorneys, Aaron Siebrecht, said the prosecutors didn't accurately describe what happened at the home and that Tyler was following the advice of medical professionals in requiring the boy to seek permission to use a bathroom, because he was having "accidents" in the house.

"At the end of the day," Siebrecht said, "there is no intent, there is no injury, there is no kidnapping."

Shadlow's trial starts June 24.

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