SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Four children were taken from a Spartanburg County, South Carolina, home after deputies said at least one was subjected to what amounted to child torture.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said four adults were arrested on numerous charges, including unlawful neglect of a child, obstruction, and cruelty to children.
Investigators said they were first called to the home near Wellford, South Carolina, on Sept. 2 to assist the Department of Social Services (DSS) with a child abuse allegation from an anonymous source.
The DSS caseworker told deputies that she had been to the home previously to investigate but that the victim had been hidden from her each time.
In the home, deputies found four adults and four children of various ages. They said the oldest child had a noticeable limp and temporary tattoos covering bruises on both legs.
All four children were placed into emergency protective custody with the DSS.
The injured victim was taken to the hospital due to bruising and concerns about blood loss, the sheriff’s office said.
Multiple interviews were done with the victim, and the sheriff’s office said a forensic doctor stated that the victim met the criteria for a medical diagnosis of child torture.
All four adults are now facing charges, including the victim’s 25-year-old father, a 24-year-old woman, a 47-year-old woman, and a 28-year-old man.
The father was charged with 13 counts of unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of obstruction. The 24-year-old was charged with 11 counts of unlawful neglect of a child and three counts of obstruction.
The 47-year-old was charged with five counts of cruelty to children, three counts of obstruction, and assault and battery, while the 28-year-old was charged with three counts of cruelty to children, three counts of assault and battery, and two counts of obstruction.
The sheriff’s office said the 24-year-old also admitted to deputies that she put makeup on the victim’s legs to cover bruising once DSS started to investigate.
All four are being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center and are expected to appear before a magistrate judge Friday afternoon.