A Florida stepfather will likely see jail time after he was convicted of abusing his stepson, thanks to an eagle-eyed restaurant manager who noticed the boy was in distress.
Timothy Lee Wilson will be sentenced in August 2022 after he was found guilty Monday of two counts of false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13, three counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect. The Orange County State Attorney’s Office says that the conviction wouldn’t have been possible without the brave actions of Mrs. Potato Restaurant manager Flaviane Carvalho.
Carvalho called 911 on January 1, 2021, after spotting the bruised, malnourished 11-year-old sitting at a table alone while the rest of his family sat at another table together, enjoying their meal.
If you suspect child abuse, you can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4-A-Child) or go to Childhelp.org. The hotline is available 24/7.
Flaviane Carvalho, a manager at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando, Florida, is a true hero. Read the story: https://t.co/4Ul1fxAVCR
— Michael Zoltowski (@MikeZPurdue) June 8, 2022
Carvalho carefully made her way past the boy’s table and got his attention.
“When Ms. Carvalho noticed injuries on the victim, she signaled to identify whether he was in need of help by holding up a sign out of the sight of Mr. Wilson, and he acknowledged that he did,” authorities shared in a statement.
I thank God for this waitress who was paying attention, noticed the bruises on this boy—& did something about it. He needed help, & her actions probably saved his life. Thank you, Flaviane Carvalho, for stepping up to do the right thing. https://t.co/TSoZvm0hKX
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) January 15, 2021
The initial call prompted an investigation into the family’s home life. Sadly, authorities discovered that things were far worse than they’d anticipated.
“He had been tortured, maliciously punished, and deprived of food and water for days at a time,” they shared.
This horrifying saga of what was happening to a 11-year-old boy at the hands of his step-father Timothy Lee Wilson. And the caring acts of 5 strangers that began with Flaviane Carvalho, who was serving tables at Mrs Potato restaurant in Orlando https://t.co/OtQevIJYSL? via @WSJ
— Raju Narisetti (@raju) February 14, 2021
Not only this, but the boy was being secluded in a hotel room that the family rented as a storage space. Duct tape covered the peep hole so no one could see in or out.
“Officers recovered multiple items used as weapons — a bent metal pole, a wooden broom, a dolly cart, handcuffs, and ratchet straps used to tie the victim up,” they detailed.
The stepfather of the victim he was found guilty of abusing, though his actions and behavior may have never been known if it wasn’t for a woman named Flaviane Carvalho.https://t.co/jur1ZUDOv9
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 6, 2022
The boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, admitted she knew just what her partner was doing to her son and allowed it to happen. She was also arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.
“[I’m] relieved knowing that the abuser is paying for his crimes and the boy has a better chance in life,” Carvalho said of the outcome.
I’m in touch with him . He is safe , happy , healthy and been loved 🥰🙏
— Flaviane Carvalho (@Flapcar) June 10, 2022
Carvalho has also kept in contact with the boy.
“Now he’s healthy. He’s being loved. It’s clear on his face and the way he’s acting that he’s much better now,” she said.
“Justice was served.”
For those who were waiting
for the outcome of the trail in the case of the boy at the restaurant.
JUSTICE SERVED!! Timothy Wilson Lee II was charged with 10 crimes, now he will spend the rest of his life
in prison. Thanks God !#doyouneedhelp #flavianecarvalho #JusticeServed pic.twitter.com/GBIQUSyIXR
— Flaviane Carvalho (@Flapcar) June 6, 2022
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón told [WESH](https://www.wesh.com/article/stepfather-guilty-child-abuse-orlando/40205775) he believes Carvalho’s action was truly lifesaving for this boy.
“We probably would’ve been talking about a potential homicide investigation if she had not intervened when she did,” he said.