Two Maryland woman in a domestic partnership who share a home have been accused of several child abuse related charges when three children in their care were allegedly fed dog excrement and found with several types of injuries.
29-year-old Amanda Wright and her girlfriend 25-year-old Besline Joseph share a home with three children, ages 8, 9 and 10. The relationship between the women and the children has not been made public.
In a period that investigators purport began late in the spring of 2017 Wright and Joseph are believed to have kept the children locked in closets as well as in the basement of the home. Injuries on the victims led investigators to the notion that the women had been using several items, including sticks and belts, to beat the youngsters. A stun gun was also discovered in the home and assumed as one of the items used in the alleged abuse.
The children allegedly suffered wounds such as bloody noses, contusions, and lacerations on their bodies. According to reports, they were also fed an inadequate diet, and in more than one instance Wright and Joseph had forced the victims to ingest dog dung. The children were made to keep the abuse quiet by threats of death from the women.
Maryland State Police took the Wright and Joseph into custody on Wednesday, and they have been charged with three counts each of first degree child abuse, second degree child abuse, first degree assault, second degree assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a minor, stalking, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, false imprisonment and one count each of causing ingestion of a bodily fluid, preventing/interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect, and conspiracy to commit first degree child abuse. They are being held in Mardela Springs without bail and they are both scheduled for preliminary hearings on March 1.
The children have been taken into the custody of child protective services.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.