Crime

Couple Allegedly Tortured Mentally Disabled Boy For Inappropriately Touching Dog

| by Sheena Vasani
Christi HowellChristi Howell

A Texas couple is accused of torturing a mentally disabled boy under the age of 14 on Jan. 29.

Christi Howell, 40, and her 45-year-old boyfriend, Casey Shackleford, abused the boy by essentially waterboarding and beating him up, reports The Dallas Morning News.

The child explained he was being punished after he “put his finger inside the family dog’s butt.”

“The victim stated that he wanted to be honest and admit what he had done,” the arrest affidavit says.

Howell, who is also a relative of the boy’s, confessed she poured water over him but said the assault was her boyfriend’s idea, KDFW reports.

Shackleford turned himself in. Howell is being held on $250,000 bail.

In addition to forcing the victim to lie on the floor with a towel over his face while pouring water -- a practice known as waterboarding -- the couple is accused of tying a rope around the boy’s genitals and neck.

The arrest affidavit says they hit him 20-30 times on his buttocks, back and elbows.

The child reportedly has cuts and burn marks on his body.

Authorities have not yet revealed the exact nature of the child’s disability or his age.

This is not the first time officials have arrested authority figures for waterboarding disabled children, reports Raw Story.

In 2009, Montana teacher aides Julie Ann Parrish and Kristina Marie Kallies faced felony charges for allegedly forcing a teenage autistic boy’s head under water after he fell asleep in class.

“If the teachers thought Garrett was being lazy or falling asleep at his desk, they forcibly took my son to the kitchen sink in the room and forced his head under the water while he was screaming for his mother,” Tifonie Schilling, mother of the alleged victim, said. “And if he had an accident in his pants he was made to sit in it all day. They would taunt him and say, ‘You stink like a baby.'”

“They were waterboarding my son,” Schilling added.

The teacher aides were also accused of forcing the boy into eating his own vomit.

“I have about 14 other families who have kids who have been subjected, in one way or another, to different schools in the district,” attorney Randy Tarum said at the time. “The abuse comes in varying degrees, and not every child says they were tortured.”

Sources: KDFW, The Dallas Morning News, Raw Story / Photo credit: KDFW

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