Beaten with a table leg. Eating scraps off the table, cat food, or nothing at all. Locked up in a laundry room for hours.
These are just a few of the things authorities say a Georgia man may have been doing to his stepdaughter for years, according to an indictment obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The man, 33-year-old Rimmon Lewis, is alleged to have viciously abused his stepdaughter for years, according to the indictment. Assistant district attorney Tracie Cason told WSB-TV that it was so bad, it was “amazing... this child survived as long as she did.”
Lewis is accused of forcing the girl, who was 13 at the time, to stand barefoot on tin cans while writing out sentences like “I will respect my father” as many as 1,000 times, according to WXIA. He is accused of forcing her to eat cat food, starving her or giving her table scraps, forcing her to swallow detergent and locking her up in a laundry room for so long she urinated and defecated on herself, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She was then forced to sleep in the soiled clothes and go to school in them as well, reported WSB-TV.
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Prosecutors also said the girl was forced to bathe in either extremely hot or cold water, was beaten with a belt and the leg of a table and had her mouth forcibly pulled open so hard the flesh tore and left scarring. The purpose was to get the girl to stop stuttering, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Authorities found out about the abuse after someone at the girl’s school noticed she was injured, according to WXIA. Police charged the couple with one count each of child cruelty at the time, but now the charges have expanded considerably after the extent of the alleged abuse was made known.“Once we started talking to her it became very clear that it was a much more significant case,” Cason told the station.
Lewis was charged with 15 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, four counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated stalking, while the victim’s mother Angela Strothers was also charged with four county of cruelty to children and and one count of aggravated stalking, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The stalking charges arose after Lewis arranged with his wife to buy the girl clothes, to tell her he was sorry and to promise he wouldn’t abuse her anymore, reported WSB-TV. Lewis remains in prison for violating his probation for a previous child abuse case in 2014, the station reported, while Strothers, the victim’s mother, is not in custody.