An adoptive mother of four was criminally charged after she was accused of inflicting years of vicious abuse upon one of her children.
47-year-old Patricia Diane Hyler and her husband live in Pace, Florida with their four adopted children.
Hyler, who has experience as a teacher from working at Capstone Academy, and as a teacher at a church, has reportedly homeschooled the children for the past two years.
All four of the children were allegedly mistreated and abused by Hyler, but her 14-year-old adopted son was reportedly singled out as what was referred to as a “target child,” as most of the harm allegedly fell on him.
The children reportedly did not speak out about the situation for quite some time due to Hyler allegedly threatening their lives if they were removed from her home as a result of the disclosure.
On April 22, one of the children found a way to send a text message alert of what was reportedly taking place in the home. The person who received the message notified the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office to relay the details of the situation in which the child texted about.
When the authorities went to Hyler’s residence they reportedly found it very unsanitary and said that all of the children appeared as if they were the victims of ongoing abuse.
The 14-year-old was reportedly found in a seriously injured state, as he had allegedly been taking the brunt of the beatings by Hyler over the years.
The charging document against Hyler listed several forms of abuse the woman allegedly imposed on the boy, some of which included starving him, denying him regular bathing privileges, and instead, cleaning him outside with a hose, banishing him from sleeping quarters and forcing him to lay on a dirty kitchen floor without covers, and hitting him repeatedly with several objects. In a recent alleged event, the boy was cut with a knife because he did not finish his chores, and the blade reportedly penetrated his head.
On April 8, Hyler was taken into custody for the accusations. She was charged with one count of first-degree felony aggravated child abuse, but the authorities reported that they plan to add more charges of the same nature.
Hyler’s husband, who was reportedly outside of the home working long shifts during the periods of alleged abuse, is not currently being charged in connection with the situation.
The children were taken into care by the Department of Child Services.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a domestic violence offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.