A father and stepmother have been accused of waterboarding a 9-year-old in Utah.
Brittany Calabrese said Child Protection Services notified her that her daughter was subjected to waterboarding as a form of punishment from her father and stepmother.
“Waterboarding torture of a 9-year-old?” Calabrese said. “She`s nine, nine years old. That is torture of a child.”
Provo police arrested the girl’s father, 29-year-old Maeser Mitchell and the child’s stepmother, Ilaria Catherina Mitchell after detectives interviewed the 9-year-old.
“On three separate occasions held her in the bathtub, put a towel over her face and poured water on her face and throughout the forensic interview with detectives she said it causes her pain and it made her unable to breathe,” said Sgt. Nisha King, of the Provo Police.
Investigators say that’s not the only thing the girl told detectives about what happened at the home.
“She also disclosed that her stepmother had struck her with a closed fist in the face causing her to have a nosebleed,” King said.
The case came to light after the little girl was checked into Utah Valley Hospital by her father earlier in November and the nurses saw something was wrong.
“The emergency room staff observed some marks on her wrists which led them to alert the division of child and family services,” King said.
The Division of Child and Family Services has taken custody of the girl, where police say she’s in a safe place until the court decides her future.
“No child needs to endure any of this,” Calabrese said.
Her mother, still in shock after learning of the pain her daughter went through said her emotions are unexplainable.
“It was the hardest thing for me having to hear being in Texas,” Calabrese said.
Both suspects are charged with one count of child abuse.
The father is also charged with unlawfully possessing a financial card after police allege he had a credit card in the name of one of his juvenile relatives.