Crime

Pierce County man accused of waterboarding and using a belt on his 7-year-old daughter

Recognizing signs of physical child abuse

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.
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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

A man accused of waterboarding and beating his 7-year-old daughter was charged with second- and third-degree child assault Monday in Pierce County Superior Court.

The 27-year-old was scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

According to charging papers:

Lakewood police responded Sunday after the man’s girlfriend reported that he had waterboarded his daughter.

The woman said that the girl had gotten in trouble for lying and talking back and that he’d hit her with a belt about 13 times.

The girl was screaming.

Then he dragged the child into the bathroom, held a wet wash cloth on her face, and used a water bottle to pour water onto her face for 15 to 20 seconds.

The girl gagged, cried, gasped for air and yelled that she couldn’t breathe.

He allegedly told her: “That’s the point, shut up before the neighbors hear.”

When he was finished, he yelled for her to change her clothes.

The girlfriend grabbed the child and fled to a convenience store, then called 911.

Police arrived, as well as the girl’s mother.

Officers noted bruises on the girl’s buttocks and that the dress she had worn at the apartment was soaked with water.

She told them she had been afraid because she was coughing a lot during the punishment.

The suspect told police he hit the girl with his belt about eight times and that: “I think it could have been a little too much.”

He said he poured the water for 2 to 3 seconds, and that he stopped when the girl yelled: “I don’t want to die.”

The man allegedly said that, upon reflection, it was not appropriate and that he wouldn’t do it again.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.

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