A 10-year-old New York girl was allegedly beaten and tortured at the hands of her mother and three other adults in what one police official called the worst case of child abuse in recent memory.
Authorities in Oswego County, New York, have arrested four people in connection with the abuse.
Police became aware of the allegations after the girl escaped a home and told a neighbor what was being done to her, WSTM-TV reports.
Investigators believe the beatings started in April and continued over several months.
The girl reported that adults would beat her with open hands and closed fits and would also kick her repeatedly.
The adults denied the girl regular meals and instead fed her only once each day with food that was covered in hot sauce, the television station reports.
The girl had to work outside all day without food, water or even access to a bathroom. She wasn’t even allowed to bathe, police said.
She also was taken to a park where she was allegedly forced to run with weights in a backpack while the adults followed her in a vehicle. The vehicle would strike her if she didn’t run fast enough, authorities indicate.
The girl was then allegedly tied to the back of the vehicle and dragged for running too slow.
The victim, whose identity has not been released, is currently being hospitalized, Oswego County Undersheriff Eugene Sullivan said.
Sullivan told the television station that the abuse case is the worst one he can remember in recent times.
“This whole thing is just awful,” Sullivan said. “I’ve been talking about it all day and still can’t wrap my brain around it.”
Prosecutors have charged the girl’s mother, Leslieann Raeder, 34, with endangering the welfare of a child.
Also charged are Raeder’s boyfriend, Gary Bubis Jr., 37; Bubis’ sister, Brandy Shaver, 18; and Shaver’s boyfriend, Shawn Whaley, 23.
Bubis also is accused of intentionally burning a 3-year-old’s hands in hot water.
The 3-year-old and a 12-year-old, who also had resided in the home, are living with other family members, according to police.
Investigators think the adults targeted the 10-year-old girl because they believed she was a troublemaker.
But police say the only problems they’re aware of is that the girl would try to sneak food, or as Sullivan put it, “things that kids do.”
Additional charges may be filed at a later date.
Anyone with information about the case may contact investigators at 315-349-3411.
[Featured Image: Oswego County Sheriff’s Office]