43-year-old Eduardo Montanez and his 34-year-old wife, Paula, stood side by side inside Connecticut Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors charged Mr. Montanez with using an electric dog collar to shock and discipline his nine-year-old stepdaughter inside their Kohanza Street apartment in Danbury.
"Anybody who does anything untoward to a child as far as I'm concerned should be boiled in oil. I don't think that these people did anything to these kids to hurt them," said Robert Kolesnik, Jr., a defense attorney.
"Both of these individuals enjoy the presumption of innocence and the right to a jury trial, and we intend to fight these charges," said Angelica Papastavros, a defense attorney.
Attorney Kolesnik says the claims of abuse come from a nine-year-old girl crying out for attention.
Authorities say the investigation started after a school nurse notified the state Department of Children and Families about suspicious bruises on the girl's neck.
Danbury Police arrested the couple on Tuesday.
"There are three or four conflicting reports as to whether or not there were any marks on the child," Kolesnik said.
Gyda Harrison lives right below the Montanez family. She says they made a lot of noise, but abuse allegations involving a shock collar were surprising.
"Oh yeah, we were shocked. We couldn't believe it, that anybody would think of doing something like that," Harrison said.
Eduardo Montanez is being held on $250,000 bond on charges including third-degree assault, risk of injury to a child and cruelty.
Paula Montanez is held on $200,000 bond on charges including risk of injury to a child, conspiracy to commit third-degree assault and conspiracy to commit cruelty.