Tennessee teenager abused by parents to testify for stricter laws

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (AP) -- A teenager whose father and stepmother chained him to a bed and starved him will testify before the Tennessee General Assembly in an effort to get child abuse laws reformed.

Joshua Osborne was found in his parents' Lebanon home in 2004 weighing just 49 pounds.

Now 18, Osborne will testify in January and ask lawmaker to extend the statute of limitations on child abuse cases, protect children from testifying against caregivers in court, eliminate the "first-time offenders" text in the law and make the torture he endured at least a Class C felony.

In May 2006, the couple holding Osborne was sentenced to six years in prison for attempted aggravated child neglect. Osborne is waiting for a kidney transplant caused by the abuse.


Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)