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SARASOTA, Fla. — A Florida radiologist and his wife are facing child abuse charges after authorities say they routinely tied up a 12-year-old girl who lived at their home and confined her to a playhouse.

Local media outlets report 51-year-old Eugenio Erquiaga and 53-year-old Victoria Erquiaga turned themselves in Wednesday.

Eugenio and Victoria Erquiaga (Courtesy: Sarasota County  Sheriff's Office Facebook page)
Eugenio and Victoria Erquiaga (Courtesy: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page)

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies began investigating after the girl appeared at a neighbor’s home Dec. 27 with zip ties around her hands and ankles. The office says she told neighbors she had been tied up and left home alone.

The Erquiagas reportedly told investigators the girl was prone to violent outbursts and needed to be restrained to protect her and seven other children at the home.

According to WTSP, the couple said they started zip-tying the girl after seeing it done on a police TV show. They told police it was for her own good.