SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake father allegedly abused his four children and did not allow them to go to school or see a doctor, according to police.
David Joseph Lambertus, 39, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with two counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.
The investigation began when workers with the Center for Safe and Healthy Families reported they discovered Lambertus’ 11-month-old son had a fractured arm that was in the process of healing, according to charging documents. Safe and Healthy Families is a program through Primary Children’s Hospital that provides medical and mental health services to suspected victims of child abuse and neglect and their families.
Lambertus lived in an unfinished basement of his parents’ house with his 11-month-old son, and three daughters, ages 6, 4, and 2. The report from Safe and Healthy Families “goes on to say there is considerable neglect that has been perpetrated on all four children,” the charges state.
The 6-year-old told police that her father hit her brother several times, that she is the one who changes her brother's diaper because he won’t, and that her father has stated he doesn’t like her, the charges state.
When police visited the basement where the family lived, they found it was unfinished and the windows were spray-painted black so no light could get in, according to the charges.
The children’s grandmother told police that Lambertus was verbally abusive and called his children “stupid” and other derogatory terms, the charges state. She said Lambertus did not like his son and tried to turn the young girls against their brother, according to the charges. He also did not allow the 6-year-old to go to school and did not take the children to the doctor, the charges state.
A $250,000 warrant was issued Monday for Lambertus’ arrest.
Resources for domestic violence:
Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990, www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/contact-us.
Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine: 1-800-897-LINK (5465), www.udvc.org.
Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-421-1100.
Utah Child Abuse/Neglect Intake Line: 1-855-323-3237, dcfs.utah.gov/services/child-protective-services.
Utah Adult Protective Services: 1-800-371-7897, daas.utah.gov/adult-protective-services.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
SafeUT: 1-833-372-3388 (833-3SAFEUT), healthcare.utah.edu/uni/safe-ut.
Utah Parent Center: 1-800-468-1160, utahparentcenter.org.
The Family Support Center: 801-955-9110, www.familysupportcenter.org.
Prevent Child Abuse Utah: 801-532-3404, pcautah.org.
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888, humantraffickinghotline.org.
211 Utah: 2-1-1, 211utah.org.