October 20, 2014
A Reno couple accused of being so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.
Authorities say the children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital. Prosecutors say both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care.
25-year-old Michael Straw and 23-year-old Iana Straw pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.
Prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria stated that the couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons and Dragons" series, to give their children proper care.
Police say hospital staff had to shave the head of the 10-pound girl because her hair was matted with cat urine.
Investigators say her brother's lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking.
Jeremy Bosler, head of the county public defender's office, declined to comment today. The Straws were represented by public defenders.