Imagine what it would be like to be locked inside a closet 2 by 2 feet wide, your body wrapped in a wire fence and bound by chains like an animal for hours—even days—at a time. You aren't given any food. You're 6 years old, and your parents have done this to you.
It's the heinous child abuse case The Oprah Show first told in 2000. Back then, the show couldn't say his name or show his face. Now, that little boy, Clayton, is 19 years old and coming forward in hopes that his story will help save another child from abuse.
While living in a small Indiana town, 6-year-old Clayton was terrorized by the very people who were supposed to protect and care for him—his father, Joseph, and stepmother, Carmen.
For months, Clayton was locked inside an airless, dark bathroom closet, often for 24 hours at a time. Inside the closet, Clayton was bound in wire fencing and chains. He stood for hours on end, even while sleeping. His tiny neck and chest bore scars from the wire and chains cutting into his bare skin.
When Clayton could no longer hold his bodily functions, he was forced to go to the bathroom on himself. His stepmother punished him by rubbing his own feces in his face. Then his father would urinate on him.