A Texas woman and her boyfriend have been arrested after the woman’s son told police that the couple waterboarded him and tied a rope around his genitals.
The mentally disabled, 13-year-old victim told investigators that the brutal measures were carried out as a cruel form of punishment, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Christi M. Howell, 40, and Casey D. Shackleford, 45, of Kaufman, Tex., have been charged with injury to a child and Shackleford is also accused of violating probation, the Terrell Tribune reported.
Howell is being held on a $250,000 bond and her boyfriend is being held without bond, according to the Tribune. The felony charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to the Associated Press.
The boy told investigators that the violent incident began when he told Shackleford that he had “put his finger inside the family dog’s butt,” according to an arrest affidavit cited by the Dallas Morning News.
“The victim stated that he wanted to be honest and admit what he had done,” the affidavit says, according to the Tribune.
“The victim said that Casey grabbed him by the hair and pinned him down on the ground and told Christi Howell … hereinafter known as suspected party … to get cold water and pour it on the victim’s face while he held a towel over his head and face,” the affidavit continues, according to the Tribune.
“The victim said he was able to breathe slightly if he moved his head to the side and that kept him from feeling like he was drowning,” the affidavits adds. “The victim stated that Casey held him down while suspected party poured the water on his face, which is similar to the actions of waterboarding.”
Shackleford also slapped the boy’s face multiple times if he looked away from the couple, the affidavit notes. At some point during the ordeal, the boy told investigators, Shackleford instructed Howell to tie a rope around the boy’s private parts, which were identified as his scrotum, according to the Tribune.
“The suspected party tied a rope around his private parts and then pulled on the rope as if she was trying to pull him around and off the couch,” the affidavit said, according to the paper. “Casey then told suspected party to tie the rope around the back of his neck in a hobbled position while the rope was still tied to his private parts.”
The victim remained tied up for as long as 10 minutes, leaving him with burns on his back and on his genitals, the affidavit said.
Confronted by police, Howell admitted to the torture and said it was her boyfriend’s idea.
Police did not release details about the nature of the victim’s disability, according to the Dallas Morning News.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services told the AP that the teenager has been placed in foster care.