The attorney for a man accused of abusing his adoptive son suggested that the accusations against his client are inaccurate
Paul Comer and his wife Sheila are charged with cruelty to a child and false imprisonment.
Authorities said the couple abused their own son Mitch so harshly it bordered on torture.
Paul Comer's attorney, Scott Smith, said there is another side to the story of accusations against his client. Smith, however, would not say what that other side is.
When asked if Paul Comer abused his stepson, Smith responded, "based on the information I have, that is not exactly correct."
"At this point, we are not in a position to make a statement. As much as I'd like to, it is not in my client's best interest," Smith added.
The Paulding County Sheriff's Department said the Comers abused their son for at least four years, then kicked him out on the street and told him to fend for himself when he turned 18.
"It's just mind boggling someone would treat their own children in that manner," said Cpl. Scott Henson with the Paulding County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators are trying to determine how this type of depraved abuse could have gone on for so long.
"They were obviously trying to hide from something," Henson said.
CBS Atlanta News asked Henson how the problem could have gone undetected for so long. Henson answered, "the reason we believe it has gone on for so long is he has not been in public school."
Henson said Mitch Comer was last known to have attended school when he was in eighth grade. He is now 18 years old, the same age as a senior in high school.
The family's life is shrouded in mystery. They have lived in nearly two dozen places over the past two decades, authorities said.
"They were obviously trying to hide from something," Henson said. "That's what we want to find out."
When asked if the couple was trying stay ahead of the law, Henson answered, "we think they could be."
"It's harder to be brought to the attention of authorities if you keep moving," said Dick Donovan, the Paulding County District Attorney.
Donovan said the Comers knew what they were doing.
"It was intentional, it was callous, it was cruel. They were not sick. They were just mean," Donovan said. "It's depressing and it's disappointing to know there are people like this in the world, much less Paulding County."
The husband and wife are in custody at Paulding County Jail.
Authorities are investigating whether teenagers sisters, ages 11 and 13, were abused.
"There's obviously the potential they've been abused as well," Henson said.
The girls are currently in state care.
Donovan said the parents may face more charges.
Their next court date is scheduled for Oct. 4.
"Hopefully we'll get him out and mount a zealous defense in his favor," Smith said.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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