A couple who tortured their son so badly he suffered two strokes and started a GoFundMe page claiming he was causing his own injuries has been jailed for 20 years.
Rachel Stevens, 29, and her partner Kayla Jones, 26, pleaded no contest on Friday to charges of child abuse and child neglect after police accused them of beating their little boy with a hammer and kicking him in the groin.
The five-year-old boy, who is Stevens’ biological son, was flown to St John Medical Centre in Oklahoma after he suffered seizures and lesions on his face.
Once there, the doctors discovered he had several broken bones in various stages of healing and appeared malnourished and called police.
Investigators interviewed the child and found he had been tied up, kept in a locked room and had duct tape placed over his eyes, according to an affidavit cited by Tulsa World.
The little boy also said Stevens had hit him on the hand with a hammer and both women had whipped him with a belt all over his body.
While the boy was receiving medical treatment, he suffered two strokes “due to his trauma”.
The youngster also claimed his step-mother had kicked him in the groin til he bled and police say this horrific abuse went on for several months.
The couple then launched a GoFundMe campaign for the little boy, claiming his lesions were a result of him picking his face and his strokes a result of falling, according to NewsOn6. They claimed they were sleeping in their car becuase they refused to leave his side but the hospital had no beds.
The victim has a twin brother and an eight-year-old sister but police say the suspects, who have been together for together for three years, are not believed to have harmed the other children.
As a part of the plea agreement, neither woman can contact the child while in jail, according to Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge
“It was a conclusion that was carefully discussed with the family,” he said, Tulsa World reported.
“The nature of the injuries were very severe, but the child is doing very well now in a loving home. He is a completely different child now than when this [case] first came in. He received the most wonderful care and is in a great home right now, and I feel confident that he is going to be okay.”