Man arrested for abuse of 7-year-old boy

Staff Writer
Walton Sun

A 34 year old Australian man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly abusing his girlfriend’s 7-year-old mentally handicapped son at a home in DeFuniak Springs.

A School Resource Deputy with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of marks and bruises present on the boy by school personnel.

DeFuniak Springs Police began an investigation along with the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) into the alleged abuse.

The investigation revealed that 34 year old Gary John Maidman, a citizen of Australia, placed multiple bruises on his live in girlfriend’s son.

Maidman, who permanently resides in New South Wales, was here on a 90 day Visa and arrived in January. He gave investigators a statement that while disciplining the boy for kicking the boy’s sibling, he struck and poked him with his hands and finger.

Maidman explained that he was trying to show him what it felt like.

A forensic interview and examination was conducted by collaborative personnel at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. The examination revealed extensive bruising on the buttocks and genital area of the mentally handicapped boy that was concluded to be abuse.

Maidman was arrested and taken to the Walton County Jail where he was booked on charges of Child Abuse.

Chief Mark Weeks stated “these types of incidents are heart wrenching. The images of this little boy’s injuries shows disregard for his wellbeing and demands justice. Discipline is one thing, this was clearly child abuse.”

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming. DCF has temporarily removed the other children in the home until the investigation is complete.