A Texas woman is facing charges after police uncovered a disturbing case of alleged abuse against her stepsons.
Sara Anne Woody, 24, is accused of making two of her stepsons lick dirty toilet bowls as punishment, burning their tongues with a charcoal grill lighter and striking their genitals with a belt, among other things.
Sara is facing 27 charges of injury to a child, a charge of abandoning or endangering a child with imminent danger of bodily injury,= and two charges of tampering with a witness, according to the Times Record News. She is currently in jail in lieu of bail of more than $3 million.
Police began the investigation when one of the boys was brought to a hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, for a lip injury.
Investigators discovered soon after that Sara had punished the two boys, ages 12 and 7, by forcing them to drink an apple cider vinegar concoction that caused them to vomit. Investigators were also led to believe that she had beaten the boys several times.
The boys, during an interview with authorities, said their stepmother had forced them to lick the rim of a toilet bowl, which was covered in human waste, if she believed that they lied to her.
One boy said Sara would sit in a recliner while she forced him to do pushups. If he stopped, he told police, she would hit him on the back of his head and body with a paddle or a tent pole.
The stepmother is also accused of making the boys remove their clothing so she could strike them on their genitals with a belt.
Sara's husband, Jonathan Darrell Woody, was also arrested in connection with the abuse. He has been arrested on three charges of child endangerment and one charge of tampering with a witness and is currently being held in lieu of $550,000 bail.
Burkburnett Police Detective Donald Osborn said that Jonathan was charged because he was aware of the abuse and did nothing to stop or prevent it.
"I have never seen anything of this magnitude," Osborn said of the case.
Osborn noted that when he first saw the 12-year-old boy, he thought that he was only 7 or 8 years old due to his small size.
Three other children lived in the home with the Woodys. All five children have been placed with relatives.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Sara is currently pregnant.