Sergeant and School Principal Charged With Child Abuse

For Immediate Release
September 11th, 2001

Contact: DDA Gary LoGalbo (714) 773-4491

Sergeant and School Principal Charged With Child Abuse

FULLERTON — A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s sergeant and his school principal wife have been charged with abusing their 14-year-old son over a period of five months with incidents that include forcing the boy to sleep outside on a dog mat.

Grady Machnick (DOB 8-22-56) and Deborah Machnick (DOB 11-29-55) were each charged with one misdemeanor count of child abuse and endangerment, a crime that carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Deborah Machnick is an elementary school principal in the Walnut Valley Unified School District.

The complaint centers around an on-going pattern of abuse that started on Jan. 1 and continued through May 18. During that time, the boy was not allowed inside his Yorba Linda home while his father was at work at the Los Angeles County Jail. Grady Machnick frequently worked nights. Besides sleeping on a dog mat, the boy was not given a blanket, was forced to use a restroom at a nearby park, had to “earn” clean clothes to wear and discovered that dog feces were placed in his backpack while he was in class.

The victim left home after May 18, when cold water was poured on him as he slept outside. A friend notified Brea police about the pattern of abuse and an investigation began, which included a search of the defendants’ home. The boy has since been placed in the custody of the Dept. of Social Services.

Both defendants will receive written notices requiring them to voluntarily surrender for an arraignment on Oct. 2 at the North Justice Center.