With the help of her friend, a mother punished her 14-year-old son by pouring hot sauce in the his eyes, Utah authorities claim. The two also forced him to inhale marijuana and left him duct-taped and alone in a dark basement.
"This is not discipline that any child should have to go through," West Valley Police Sgt. Jason Hauer told The Associated Press. "It's definitely abuse."
The 14-year-old boy has been returned to his father's custody, Hauer said. His mother, Robin Willette Rumsey, 38, and her friend, Krista Jean Miller, 33, were arrested Tuesday on multiple felony child abuse and endangerment charges.
Authorities say Rumsey and Miller began abusing the child two years ago. The investigation started six months ago,
According to a probable cause statement used to hold the women at the Salt Lake County jail, the boy was punished for breaking a glass dish by having Tabasco sauce poured into his eyes. He was "held by the women physically and (they) put a glass pipe in his mouth telling him to inhale [marijuana]." The women also did the same with alcohol, by "pouring the alcohol over his face and mouth, prying his mouth open."
The women also are accused of watching pornographic movies in the presence of children as young as 15, the statement said.
The 14-year-old boy also claimed he was duct-taped so that he couldn't move his arms and legs, carried down a flight of stairs into a basement and left in a dark room alone for about 90 minutes, the Deseret News
Rumsey and Miller were living together in a house owned by Miller's mother, Marsha Christensen, who filed an eviction notice against them in January, according to Utah state court records. Christensen said she moved back into her house on Monday.
Christensen said she doesn't believe the child abuse allegations against her daughter.
"No, she was not raised this way," she told KSL-TV.
Christensen said she believes the abuse allegations were fabricated as part of a custody battle over the child, according to the AP.
Hauer said investigators have no information about a custody fight.
"This case is full of mysteries. There are a lot of questions coming up that I don't have answers to, mostly because the case is still active," Hauer said. "The arrests made two days ago with Krista and Robin are probably just the beginning of other allegations that are going to come to light in this case."
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