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Citing new info, cops say NC couple charged in 2016 child abuse case also sexually abused victim

A North Carolina couple faces additional disturbing charges in connection with their arrest last year on child abuse charges.

According to the Statesville Record & Landmark, Andrew Patrick Williams, 38, and his girlfriend, 37-year-old Stephanie Johanna Giddens, were charged with performing sex acts on the same child they were charged last year with physically abusing.

The paper identified the child only as a relative of Giddens.

The couple was arrested following a June 2016 incident in which police say the child was restrained with belts, left bruised and in need of treatment at the hospital.

After Giddens admitted to the mistreatment, social services reportedly took custody of the child. Both Giddens and Williams were initially charged with misdemeanor child abuse with an added count of misdemeanor false imprisonment sought for Giddens. Charges were ultimately dismissed in Williams’ case and Gidden was given a probated sentence of 18 months.

Upon learning new information, however, authorities are now pursuing much more serious charges stemming from the same 2016 incident.

Troutman police this week served arrest warrants against both individuals, claiming Williams performed a series of sex acts on the young victim and Gidden allowed the abuse to take place.

Now both are facing felony charges and, as of Friday, remained behind bars.

Williams is charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury and two counts of statutory sex offense with a child. Giddens’ charges include child abuse causing serious physical injury and two counts of child abuse by a sex act.

Secured bond was set in both cases with amounts of $250,000 and $150,000, respectively.

[Featured image: Iredell County Sheriff’s Office]