Georgia police have arrested a couple and charged with child abuse, among other crimes, as reported by WSB-TV.
Rimmon Lewis and his wife, Angela Strothers, both 33, have been accused of beating, starving and force-feeding detergent to Strother’s 13-year-old daughter, who remains unidentified. The couple was initially booked in April on just one charge of child abuse, but police added several other charges on November 15 following the completion of an investigation.
Lewis, identified as the girl’s stepfather, allegedly beat the girl with a table leg and forced her to wear urine-soaked clothes to school, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 33-year-old stepfather also punched her in the face and in the “vaginal area,” according to a criminal indictment. Lewis allegedly reserved perhaps the cruelest punishment for when the girl would stutter, forcing his thumbs inside her mouth and stretching until her face became bruised and mangled.
Authorities said the couple also force-fed the girl detergent and made her eat cat food while the rest of the family ate normally at the very same table.
The victim was also allegedly locked in the laundry room overnight and forced to complete tedious and difficult tasks, like standing on cans of food for hours on end as she uttered phrases dictated by Lewis.
Police they suspect that this abuse had been going on for years.
“It’s amazing to me how this child survived as long as she did,” said prosecutor Tracie Cason, calling this “one of the most severe cases of child abuse” she had ever seen.
Police became involved when counselors at the girl’s middle school noticed her bruised and emotionally battered state and became concerned.
The couple has four other children. All of these kids, including the victim, have been placed in the custody of the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services.
Lewis has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, four counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated stalking. Strothers faces four counts of cruelty to children and one count of aggravated stalking.
Lewis remains incarcerated after violating parole for a previous abuse charge. Strothers was released on bail.