An Idaho woman convicted of torturing and abusing her 9-year-old stepson to death will spend the rest of her life behind bars, KTVB-TV reports.
On Thursday, a judge sentenced 29-year-old Monique Osuna to life in prison without the possibility of parole in connection with the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse she inflicted on the child, who died in September 2020.
“A small child was sent to Idaho to be cared for by the defendants. Instead, he was sent to a living hell,” Ada County Prosecutor John Dinger said in court, according to the television station.
Osuna pleaded guilty to murdering the boy, Emrik, under a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. Osuna’s husband, Erik Osuna, took the same deal and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.
Prosecutors argued that the parents violently abused the boy, showing autopsy photographs of dark bruising all over his body, including on his arms, thighs, buttocks and genital area.
At the time of Emrik’s death, he had been starved to just 41 pounds.
“He was wasted, skin and bones in appearance,” pediatrician Dr. Matthew Cox testified, according to KTVB-TV.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the abuse was recorded on nanny cameras that were installed in the home in Meridian, Idaho. The horrific footage documents the abuse exacted by Monique Osuna, who was recorded yelling swear words at the child as he was forced to undergo hours of exercises.
One heartbreaking clip reportedly shows Emrik being forced to exercise in the early morning hours when he abruptly stopped and asked God why he was being abused, according to testimony from KTVB-TV.
“He starts crying. That was one of the most significant instances that affected me,” Meridian Police Detective Eric Stoffle testified, according to KTVB-TV. “As he’s talking to God you can see Monique in the background and sneak up to where she’s hiding behind the counter, listening to him. That affected me the most.”
Osuna was also recorded spanking the child using a frying pan, prompting the boy to beg that she stop. She also withholds food from him, even while allowing his siblings to eat.
“You are on my (expletive) list for the rest of your life,” Osuna reportedly said in the recording, according to the television station.
In another clip, Osuna tells Emrik to eat something from the floor and then asks him if he is hungry.
“You better (expletive) in your hand and eat it,” Monique Osuna told the child, according to the television station.
The boy’s response: “But mom, I don’t want to starve to death.”
Melanie Yamada-Anderson, an investigator, testified that the family’s pets were treated better than Emrik.
“He ate out of the garbage can or dog food,” and when he was caught, his parents would beat him, Yamada-Anderson testified.
The parents forced Emrik to clean the floors with a toothbrush, drink dirty water out of a cleaning bowl and sleep on the floor without blankets or a pillow,
Emrik never resisted the abuse. Instead, he compliantly responded by saying “sorry” or “yes mom,” KTVB-TV reports.
The boy’s father could often be seen ignoring the abuse, encouraging it or participating in it.
A defense witness testified that Osuna had a rough upbringing, witnessed domestic abuse between her parents, and was herself subjected to physical and sexual abuse as a child.
Osuna could be seen wiping tears as a video of the abuse was played in court on Thursday. She later apologized.
“He didn’t deserve any of that. He deserves so much more, and I hope for the rest of my life I’ll be sorry for my wrongful actions,” Osuna told the court.
In handing down Osuna’s sentence, Ada County District Judge Steven Hippler said the violence against the child was “sadistic, evil and heartless,” KBOI-TV reports.
“He wasn’t part of the family. He wasn’t loved. He was an inconvenience to the family. In the end, Emrik’s body wasted away,” Hippler said, according to the Idaho Statesman.
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[Featured image: Emrik/Handout]