A Florida man was sentenced to multiple life sentences last week for abusing and torturing his 11-year-old stepson.
The boy was rescued by an Orlando restaurant manager who noticed something wrong when Timothy Lee Wilson, 36, didn’t let the boy order food, and she saw bruises on the child’s face, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Flavaine Carvalho, manager of the Mrs. Potato restaurant, wrote a note — “Do you need help? OK” — and held it up for the boy to see while she was standing behind Wilson. The child nodded “yes.”
Wilson was found guilty in June of false imprisonment, aggravated child abuse with a weapon, aggravated child abuse, and child neglect. At his sentencing on Friday, the judge gave him the maximum sentence for each count, WKMG reported.
The boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, was also arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect after reportedly admitting to knowing about the abuse and failing to intervene. She pleaded guilty on Friday, and the judge scheduled her sentencing for September 16.
The child told detectives that Wilson would strap him upside down to a door with straps on his ankles and neck, tie him to a moving dolly, and hit him with a wooden spoon, his fists, and a backscratcher. He also reported that he wasn’t allowed to eat regularly. Investigators said he was 20 pounds underweight for his age.
“He had all sorts of different stages of bruising so it wasn’t like it was just one incident,” Detective Erin Lawler said. “It was ongoing abuse and torture.”
Orlando police said that Carvalho likely saved the boy’s life.
“She rescued a boy from some dangerous abuse,” they said after Wilson’s arrest. “By saying something when she saw something, Ms. Carvalho displayed courage and care for a child she had never even met before, and we’re proud someone like Ms. Carvalho lives and works in our community.”
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[Featured image: Orlando Police Department]