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Couple plead innocent to mistreating 6-year-old boy

King County Prosecutors say an Auburn man and his fiancée beat and starved the man's 6-year-old son for months, feeding him only shakes of blended bread, carrots, water, hot dogs and vegetable oil for breakfast and dinner.

And if the boy refused to down the shakes, prosecutors say, he went without.

On Monday Christopher Sefton and Lori Lloyd pleaded innocent at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent to second-degree criminal mistreatment. Sefton also pleaded innocent to one count of second-degree assault.

Case setting is Thursday, April 24.

Investigators said they believe the abuse began in October, but that the couple kept the boy out of school to hide the abuse.

According to court documents, a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker at Chinook Elementary noticed bruises on Sefton's son and notified authorities. CPS began its investigation in January after school officials notified authorities that the boy would "steal food from other children and dig through trash looking for food."

Court documents say that the boy told police that his father and Lloyd used food to discipline him and refused to feed him for days at a time.

According to court documents, a medical exam on the boy turned up "multiple bruises and lesions consistent with possible burns. ... The boy's "rib cage was flared out, and the skin around his abdomen was thinning."

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