Police have detained a 30-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend on allegations they abused his six children in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Joshua Lopez and Kremena Bujanowski were charged with six counts of child abuse and causing mental harm to a child Nov. 9. The pair allegedly inflicted military-style punishments on the children, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Bruises were discovered on the backside of Lopez’s 3-year-old son on Nov. 5 by a staff member of the Head Start program who was helping him go to the bathroom. The staff member reportedly showed the bruises to a colleague who agreed the bruises were new. The colleague said she had not seen the bruises two days earlier.
Police interviewed Lopez’s six children, aged between 3 and 11. They all provided information suggesting they were being abused, court documents said.
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The investigation revealed that Lopez and Bujanowski allegedly beat the children with belts, spoons and a rubber strap. The children were also made to hold heavy rocks, buckets of dry cement or books above their heads or in front of them for up to 15 minutes. The time period was lengthened if the child cried or could not complete the task, according to the documents.
Lopez admitted he spanked his children with his hands and a belt. No comment was reported by Bujanowski.
Marathon County Department of Social Services is arranging foster care for the six children.
Lopez and Bujanowski were held following their court appearance on $500 bail each. A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Nov. 18.