Okaloosa County man arrested for child abuse

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Okaloosa County, Fla. (WMBB) — A Mary Esther man has been charged with child abuse after the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office discovered a teen victim was required to spend hours at a time monitoring an incapacitated individual in lieu of attending school.

Joseph Matey, 47, is accused of pulling the teen out of school in 2017. The victim was required to help care for an individual who needed 24-hour care.

His shifts ranged up to fourteen hours at a time, during which he was to remain awake and alert, monitoring medical equipment, typically getting only five hours sleep a night.

An evaluation by a licensed psychologist determined the teen shows the effects of “educational deprivation” and mental injury due to the exploitation.

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