PRESS RELEASE, 1/27/2012

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces misdeameanor charge in case of Springfield Township father

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced that the Hamilton County Grand Jury returned a 1 count indictment for Unlawful Restraint (Misd. 3) in the case of Springfield Township father James Tapke (DOB 5-13-70).  If convicted, Tapke faces the possibility of 60 days in the Justice Center.

Tapke is charged with restraining his 12-year-old daughter on January 10, 2012 by putting duct tape on her hands, feet and mouth then confining her to a large dog cage inside the home.   The cage is for the family’s bull mastiff dog.  The daughter is alleged to have been in the cage for no more than a matter of minutes.  By her own account, she would often voluntarily get into the cage with the dog to play with him or sleep with him.

The Hamilton County Department of Jobs and Family Services investigated and ordered the father out of the home. The child lives with her paternal grandparents in their Springfield Township home.  The paternal grandparents have legal custody of the child and Tapke has no legal rights to the child. 


The child was not injured and did not require any medical treatment as a result of this incident.  The incident was brought to the attention of the Springfield Township Police Department several days after the incident when family friends saw Facebook pictures of the child in the dog cage.  The Facebook photos have since been removed from Facebook.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented, “While the initial allegations were shocking, I think that the grand jury made the correct call.  This definitely does not rise to the level of a felony.   Fortunately the victim was not injured.  Referrals have been given to the family to help with the family dynamics that gave rise to this situation.”