A grandad has been found guilty of child abuse for forcing his grandsons on gruelling hikes in the Grand Canyon in searing August heat, withholding food and water and choking and kicking them during the treks.
All three of the boys -- aged eight, nine and and 12 -- testified during the trial. The oldest described secretly asking a hiker to call emergency services toward the end of a 19-mile hike after he started throwing up.
"I needed medical attention and I was hurting and he was hitting and pushing me and calling me fat," he said.
The Arizona jury found Christopher Alan Carlson (45) of Indianapolis guilty of three of six charges of child abuse.
Investigators have said that Carlson told them that the boys were overweight and that he thought hiking the Grand Canyon would help get them into shape.
Defence attorney Jeffrey Williams portrayed Carlson as an health nut who had a firm hand and wanted to show the boys the world. He only allowed the boys to eat healthy food like tofu, hummus and veggie burgers.
"I suppose to an eight-year-old that might seem like child abuse if you like cheeseburgers, French fries and pizza," he said. "He wanted to get them from behind the TV, the games and fast food."