A 4-year-old Arkansas girl, who was allegedly tied to furniture and beaten by her mother's boyfriend, was taken into state custody on Aug. 12.
The mother, Jennifer Denen, 30, and her boyfriend Clarence Reed, 47, were arrested by Hot Springs police, reports the Daily Mail. They were booked on charges of first-degree domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
The victim’s injuries, described in the police report obtained by The Sentinel-Record, include “deep purple bruising on her bottom, lower back and legs; a black eye; swollen right cheek; a bruise on her forehead; healing scars across her back; and dried blood in the corner of her mouth.” Police also say they saw marks on her wrist and apparent malnourishment.
Arkansas Department of Human Services workers examined the child, who also spoke with police at a child advocacy center. When asked what her name was, the girl replied “Idiot.” Another child, presumably a friend of the victim, testified that the young girl was zip-tied and frequently called “idiot.”
When questioned, Reed admitted to calling her “idiot,” but claimed it was just a joke. He also acknowledged hitting the girl with a wooden paddle, and zip-tying her to the bed. The latter was allegedly done to prevent her from climbing into cupboards.
Reed also spanked the child with a plastic bat, according to what the mother told police. Despite her daughter’s injuries, medical attention was never provided, the mother admitted.
The victim is one of Denen’s six children. The eldest four were sent to live with their father after Denen's arrest. The youngest, fathered by Reed, is now is state custody, along with the alleged victim.
Denen and Reed are being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. They are due in court on Aug. 23, and face up to 32 years in prison if convicted.