Prosecutors outline ‘house of horrors’ abuse that led to Thomas Valva’s death

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Prosecutors described a house of horrors at the Center Moriches home of NYPD Officer Michael Valva and his fiancée Angela Pollina.

A grand jury indictment was unsealed Thursday against the couple, charging both with second-degree murder in the death of Michael Valva’s 8-year-old son, Thomas.

The pair is accused of forcing the boy to spend the night in a freezing garage last month. The next morning, he was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officials say Thomas died of hypothermia.

Prosecutors outlined what they say was a long history of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Michael Valva and Pollina. They say Thomas and his older brother, Anthony, were denied food. They described how the boys would go to school and eat crumbs off tables and searched for scraps in garbage cans and under the bleachers.

 Prosecutors say the boys were also forced to stay in their rooms without access to the bathroom. If they soiled themselves, they were allegedly made to sleep in the cold garage as punishment – without a mattress, sheets, pillows or blankets.

Thomas' mother Justyna Zubko-Valva says she had been reporting the alleged abuse to Child Protective Services, but she says nothing was done. She sobbed uncontrollably in the Riverhead courtroom as prosecutors read the details out loud.

“I just kept thinking about how much abuse all of my children encountered at the hands of those two abusers, Michael and Angela,” said Zubko-Valva.

Michael Valva and Pollina are both facing second-degree murder and child endangerment charges. They're being held without bail and face life in prison, if convicted.


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