DAKOTA CITY -- An Emerson, Nebraska, couple pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that allege they deprived their two teenage children of food and limited their access to the home's shower.
Blaine and Donella Busker both are charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse. Judge Kurt Rager scheduled their trials for Dec. 3 in Dakota County Court.
Blaine Busker, 41, and Donella Busker, 38, were arrested last month on allegations that they neglected and deprived the two boys of food from Jan. 1 through June 18.
According to court documents, the Buskers kept padlocks on the refrigerator and kitchen cupboards in their rural Emerson home so the boys couldn't eat without permission.
The two also are accused of punishing the boys by sitting on them and making it hard for them to breathe.
Court documents said the boys were allowed to wash their clothes only once per week and allowed to shower every other day. The bathroom that had the home's only shower was padlocked except when they were allowed to shower, court documents said.