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Couple spared jail in adopted child's whipping

A judge spared a Buffalo couple jail Tuesday but barred them from ever again adopting or seeking foster children after they were convicted of whipping their former adopted daughter with a belt.

On Oct. 31, Buffalo City Judge Patrick M. Carney found Ella Ervin guilty of misdemeanor third-degree assault and reckless endangerment and her husband, Charles, guilty of reckless endangerment following a brief nonjury trial. He granted both conditional discharges.

Ella Ervin, fired from her job as a Wende Correctional Facility officer over the conviction, also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. Charles Ervin, 58, was spared community service.

Prosecutor Milly Rodriguez joined Erie County probation officials in urging some jail time for both. She noted that the couple's 8-year-old foster son, whom they expected to adopt, was removed from their home after welts from the crime were found on the adopted daughter. The couple had faced possible one-year jail terms.

Rodriguez said the Ervins whipped her for breaking a pen and getting ink on a desk in their South Division Street home last July 13.

The girl, who had been living with the Ervins as a foster daughter for about two years and had just been adopted at the time of the attack.

The girl, now living with another foster family, had been turned over to the Ervins after being taken from her abusive biological mother, Rodriguez said.

During the brief trial, the prosecutor had the girl show the judge belt marks she still had on her back because of the beating.


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