Mom: Son bound with duct tape by father; no charges filed

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Evidence shows harm caused to child

PHOENIX - A 5-year old special needs boy was bound by his father with duct tape at his hands and feet.

Police called it a clear case of child abuse but there is no way to know because it never went to trial.

Investigators called it an "open and shut" case. There were no conflicting stories, there was hard evidence and even an admission but apparently, that is still not enough.

Jasper Smalley has been in a battle since birth. In his meager 5 years, Jasper has been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bi-polar Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, which is a type of Autism that his mother, April Smalley, says affects his social skills.

She admits, "It takes a lot of patience and love to take care of a boy like this."

April says one day her ex-husband found out Jasper was caught hitting other children at daycare. "He called me after he had taped him up and told me he had duct-taped our son.I asked him to remove the tape immediately, and he said he wouldn't.He said he was being punished."

It was a punishment that made its mark in Jasper who was bound at his wrists and ankles.

April explains, "There were red abrasions on his wrists. It looked almost like where the tape had cut into his arm."

April called Tempe Police. The police report says Philip Smalley admitted to taping his son three times. It reads, "Philip then took more tape and taped Jasper's feet back together and taped his hands back together and taping up to the shirt sleeve of Jasper to prevent him from wiggling out from the tape again."

The report goes on to say, "Jasper was crying and crawled on the ground to his bedroom with his hands and feet taped together where he sat and cried."

The next day a judge granted April an order of protection against Philip.Police investigators called the case "felony child abuse" and sent it to the county attorney's office but prosecutors never accepted charges.

Tempe Police Dept. spokesperson Steve Carbajal says, "You know, obviously the county attorney, they make their decisions based on the way they do their business.We feel comfortable and confident we did a thorough investigation."

Vincent Gonzalez, April's lawyer, tells 3TV, "We have admissions, we have photographs, we have the psychological harm done to the child.There is enough.There should have been enough.Any prosecutor could pick this up and get a conviction."

But April says prosecutors told her they would never get a guilty verdict. For now, there is no way to know if it would be a waste of time, or worth a try.

April explains, "They don't care about a child that's been abused.My son is never going to see justice.No one is looking out for his well being and what's happened to him is nothing."