A man from Nicaragua who was badly beaten by his parents as a child now wants them out of Florida prisons.
Ricardo Davila flew to Miami for the sole purpose of petitioning the governor for a pardon. On Monday, his legal team met with state officials and submitted the official paperwork.
“They were, in the past, people who cared about me, and they're not bad they just made a mistake,” Davila told NBC 6 when he first came into the country in February.
Pictures of Davila 12 years ago show marks and scars all over his body. His parents beat him, and one officer called it torture.
Davila's mother Josefa and father, whose name is also Ricardo, are serving lengthy prison terms because of the abuse.
The younger Ricardo Davila, who is 24, said he forgives them and that his religious convictions guide him.
“There is something that I have been saying since I got to this country – that is Jesus Christ is with us, he's helping us in every single step that we are taking,” he said.
Davila lived with his family in a house in Sweetwater where the abuse occurred. Authorities said that at times his parents locked their son, then 11 years old, in a bathroom. His brother and sister would sneak him food.
After the court case, Davila returned to his birth country of Nicaragua and now lives with his sister and maternal grandmother.
After their conviction, a judge ordered Davila’s parents to have no contact with their son, so Davila hasn’t talked to his parents in 12 years. He said he hopes to get word from Gov. Rick Scott on the pardon in the next couple of months, and is confident he’ll get to talk with his mother and father one day.
“This is something that we were waiting on for a long time, so I'm thinking that this is going to happen,” he said.