A Chester couple accused of child abuse pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Crawford Court Circuit Court.
Robert and Andrea Cude, both 38, were arrested Jan. 24 by Investigator Todd Cowett of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department after the alleged abuse was discovered by a school counselor, who was called in to help a young girl use the restroom while she was at school.
Robert David Cude is charged with two counts of domestic battery in the second degree and his wife, Andrea Cude is charged with two counts of permitting abuse of a minor.
Fayetteville attorney David Hogue entered the not-guilty pleas and waived arraignment before Circuit Court Judge Gary R. Cottrell.
At a Jan. 25 probable cause hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brock Price said a Mountainburg school counselor found that the 8-year-old child was severely scabbed and bruised. The girl’s brother, 10, also attended the same school, and school personnel found that the boy was similarly abused, Price said
Deputies believe the two were beaten with a wooden paddle.
Price said the girl said she gets 17 “licks” when she gets in trouble and the boy said he gets 20 “licks” from his father.
School officials reported the abuse to deputies, who arrested the Cudes.
Price said there were six other children, including an 18-year-old, living in the home. The younger children were removed by the Department of Human Services.
Robert Cude was released from the Crawford County Detention Center on $10,000 bond. Andrea Cude was released on a $7,500 bond.