Life sentence for stepfather after Orlando restaurant manager used note to save boy from abuse

ORLANDO, Florida. –The stepfather of an 11-year-old boy rescued by an Orlando restaurant manager who noticed the child had bruises was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

Timothy Lee Wilson, 36, was sentenced in June for forcible confinement, aggravated child abuse with a weapon, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

The judge gave Wilson the maximum sentence for each count against him, which included multiple life sentences.

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The boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, is also facing abuse charges and had a plea and sentencing hearing scheduled for Friday.

The judge accepted his plea but postponed sentencing until September 16 to give Swann time to wrap up his affairs before sentencing.

According to the Orlando Police Department, Flavaine Carvalho was working on New Year’s Day 2021 at Mrs. Potato on South Kirkman Road when a family of four sat down at a table.

Police say Wilson did not let an 11-year-old boy order food and Carvalho noticed bruises on the child’s face and arms.

Carvalho wrote a note saying, “Do you need help? OK” and held it in front of the boy as he stood behind the man so he couldn’t see him, police said.

Flaviane Carvalho is being hailed as a hero after coming to the aid of an 11-year-old boy who Orlando police say was being abused at home.

“I wrote another sign, asking him if he needed help. And that’s when he nodded, yes,” Carvalho said.

Carvalho then called the restaurant owner, who agreed to her calling the police.

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In an interview with Orlando police detectives, the boy recounted incidents of abuse, saying he had ratchet straps tied around his ankles and neck and was hung up his head downstairs at a door, officials said. According to police, the boy also said he was beaten with a wooden broom and handcuffed and tied to a large moving cart.

“You saved the boy’s life,” the business owner told Carvalho. “It makes us cry to think that someone can do this to a child.”

Wilson and Swann were arrested by authorities.

An observant woman at an Orlando restaurant helped rescue a boy who police say suffered serious child abuse, including being hung upside down from a door, secretly holding a sign that only the child could read.

“She saved a boy from dangerous abuse,” Orlando police said in a news release after the arrest. “By saying something when she saw something, Mrs Carvalho showed courage and caring for a child she had never met before, and we are proud that someone like Mrs Carvalho lives and works in our community.

Police said the boy’s mother admitted to knowing about the abuse. She was arrested on two counts of child neglect.

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“He had all kinds of different stages of bruising, so it wasn’t like it was just one incident,” Detective Erin Lawler said. “It was continuous abuse and torture.”

Wilson’s sentencing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

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