Orange County

Stepfather sentenced in child abuse case that garnered national attention

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County stepfather was given life and 30-year sentences Friday for the child abuse case that sparked national attention.


According to court records, a jury found Timothy Wilson, 36, guilty of 10 charges in June, including false imprisonment of a child, aggravated child abuse with a weapon and child neglect.

On New Year’s Day 2021, a waitress at the Mrs. Potato restaurant called 911 to report a case of child neglect.

The waitress, Flavaine Carvalho, told officers she noticed that a family of four entered the restaurant at around 11 p.m., and the 11-year-old victim was separated from the rest of the family.

Read: Sheriff: Boy fatally beaten for drinking from toilet was thirsty due to lack of drinks in hotel room

Carvalho said she saw marks on the few inches of skin she could see from underneath the boy’s hoodie, glasses, and face mask.

The waitress wrote, “Are you OK?” on a piece of paper and held it up to where the boy’s parents couldn’t see from their booth.

At first, the boy shook his head, but when she tried asking the boy again if he needed help, he nodded yes.

After calling her boss for advice, Carvalho then called the police.

Read: Flagler County woman accused of handcuffing daughter to car’s steering wheel

Investigators found that the boy had been tortured, maliciously punished, and deprived of food and water for days at a time.

A search warrant revealed that the victim was kept in a separate hotel room used for storage, away from his stepfather, the victim’s mother, and a younger sibling.

The boy’s stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, was arrested on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

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Police said when they interviewed the child’s mother, Kristen Swann, she admitted to knowing about the abuse and failing to seek medical care for the boy. She was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.

Investigators said both the boy and a 4-year-old girl were removed from the couple’s custody by the Department of Children and Families. They said there was no evidence of physical abuse to the girl.

Police said the family had recently moved to the area and were staying at an extended-stay hotel.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser,

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.