The teenaged boy who was starved and chained to his bed by his father and stepmother told his story on Tennessee’s Capital Hill Wednesday.
Josh Osborne was starved to the brink of death when he was 15 years old, at one point weighing just 49 pounds.
Now, four years later, Osborne hopes his story will prompt lawmakers to toughen the state’s child abuse laws.
He wants starvation and dehydration added to the list of child abuse violations, along with longer sentences for people like his parents, who are now serving six years in prison.
“Jesus made parents to help the child, protect the child, feed the child and raise the child right, not going around beat on them… chain them to a bed… that is just not right,” he said.
Osborne is now in the custody of an aunt and uncle. They too hope lawmakers take care of people like his parents.
A sponsor of the bill, Sherry Jones, said, “Josh’s parents did not receive what they deserved, that was not even close to what they deserved.”
Lawmakers call the bill a “first step” and hope Osborne will be back on Capitol Hill to take other steps to toughen child abuse laws.