UPDATE: Rachel Stevens and Kayla Jones, a couple accused of severely abusing a 5-year-old boy over several months, causing him to suffer multiple strokes and be hospitalized with serious injuries, pleaded guilty to all the charges and were sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2017, the Tulsa World reports. Stevens and Jones are eligible to have their sentences reviewed in one year. You can read more about the guilty plea here.
You can read the original story below:
An Oklahoma mother and her girlfriend are accused of severely abusing a 5-year-old boy over a period of several months, causing him to suffer multiple strokes and be hospitalized with serious injuries that have still not healed, police say.
Rachel Stevens, 28, and Kayla Jones, 25, were arrested by Muskogee Police on felony charges of child abuse by injury and child neglect, the Tulsa World reports.
According to court documents, the investigation began when the boy was brought to the hospital on December 8, 2015, with “inconsistent injuries.”
Police say the couple was “willfully/maliciously abusing L.G., who was 5 years old at the time, resulting in broken bones, bleeding of the brain, lesions on his head and neck, various scabs and bruises about his body.”
He also suffered malnutrition and did not receive medical treatment for the broken bones, seizures and other injuries, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Boy Said His ‘Stepmother Kicked Him in the Groin So Hard That It Made Him Bleed’
Police said the abuse occurred while the boy was living with Rachel Stevens and her girlfriend, Kayla Jones. The boy called Jones his stepmother. According to News on 6, the couple has been together for about eight months.
In an affidavit, Muskogee Police investigators said the boy had been “tied up” with “duct tape over his eyes and had been locked in a room.”
The victim told police at his “stepmother kicked him in the groin so hard that it made him bleed.”
You can read the full affidavit below below:
The victim said the women also “hit him on the hand, head and butt with a belt.” Police said “it was also disclosed that the mother hit the victim with a hammer.”
The women are being held at Muskogee County Jail.
2. Stevens Told Police She Should Have Taken the Boy to the Hospital After He Had Seizures
Police charged the women with child neglect, accusing them of not seeking treatment for the injuries the boy suffered.
According to court documents, Stevens, his mother, told police the boy had two seizures and was not taken to the doctor or hospital right away. She admitted to police “that she should have taken him to the doctor or hospital to get the lesions looked at and to be evaluated for the seizures.”
3. The Boy Is Still Recovering From His Injuries, Police Say
According to court documents, the boy was taken to St Johns Hospital in Tulsa on December 8 because of lesions on his face and seizures. Due to the extent of his injuries, he was airlifted to the Oklahoma University Medical Center.
Doctors at the medical center told police they found multiple broken bones in different stages of healing, along with malnutrition. Some of the broken bones were not initially found because they were hidden by swelling. The doctors said they believe the boy suffered two strokes because of the trauma.
Muskogee Police Officer Lincoln Anderson told the Tulsa World the boy is still receiving treatment, but has “slowly progressed for the better.”
4. The Women Claimed on a GoFundMe Page the Boy Caused His Own Injuries
The women set up a GoFundMe page to raise money, claiming it would be used to help pay for medical treatment for the boy, according to News on 6.
The women said on the GoFundMe page that the boy caused his lesions himself by picking his own face, falling and from seizures. They also wrote that they never left his side when he was hospitalized and were sleeping in their car because the hospital had no beds for them.
Police said there is no evidence the injuries were caused by the boy.
“Anytime you have child abuse or sexual abuse of a minor child, it’s always difficult because we’re dealing with such an innocent victim,” Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge told the news station.
5. The Boy’s Twin Brother & Sister Also Lived With the Couple & Are Now in State Custody
Police said two other children, the boy’s twin brother and their 7-year-old sister, also lived in the home with Stevens and Jones. Investigators do not believe the other children were harmed.
The victim is still in the hospital and his siblings are staying with family.
Family members told News on 6 that people have been dropping off toys and clothing to give to the victim and the other children. The father of the children is not in the picture, the news station reports.