Phoenix: Man Indicted On Child Abuse Charges After Hikes

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Carlson Could Face Life Imprisonment, If Convicted

PHOENIX — An Indianapolis man has been indicted on charges that he forced his young grandsons on brutal hikes in triple-digit temperatures at the Grand Canyon.

Federal prosecutors announced the six-count indictment Thursday against Christopher Carlson, 45. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on the child abuse charges Wednesday in Phoenix.

Carlson was taken into custody after National Park Service employees said he forced his grandchildren – Kevin, 12, Micah, 9, and Kameron, 8 — to walk along a sun-baked trail as the temperature exceeded 100 degrees, denying them food and water while beating them.

Prosecutors said the arrest happened after one of two trips.

“The children were rescued because of the quick action of the park staff and concerned hikers on the same trail. Together, they prevented a tragic outcome,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel.

Rangers fed and hydrated the boys and they were placed in the care of Child Protective Services. One boy had symptoms of heat stroke, while the other two exhibited signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration, authorities said.

An attorney representing Carlson in federal magistrate court earlier this month questioned the children’s statements, saying it was improbable they could have completed the hikes without food or water.

A conviction on each of the counts carries a maximum of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both.

Source: The Indy Channel