An Independence, Missouri, couple was arrested after their 4-year-old son was found to have serious bruises on his backside and legs.
When the child’s grandmother saw the boy walking to her apartment alone wearing only a diaper and having extreme bruises all over his legs and buttocks, she called the police. On June 9, officers found the boy at a home with his grandmother and mother, Nicole Veach, 26.
Veach and her boyfriend, Sean Stanley, 33, were later arrested. Stanley told prosecutors the reason for the boy’s bruises were due to the child constantly “pooping his pants” despite potty training. He recalled whipping the child at least four times across the backside with a belt and his hand after he saw the 4-year-old wiping feces on his sister.
"It's sad to say that somebody would do that to a baby, an innocent baby that can't defend themself," says neighbor Carolyn Galbearth, who lives next door.
According to records, police went to Veach’s house and found that Stanley had left Veach’s young daughter home alone. Officers were assigned to search the area for Stanley, and he was later arrested, reports WDAF.
On June 13, Jackson County prosecutors charged Stanley with abuse or neglect of a child for allegedly harming the four-year-old boy. Stanley says he immediately called his girlfriend to tell her about hitting the boy, court documents reveal. Veach told prosecutors she noticed the serious bruises on her son’s backside and legs the next morning, but she permitted Stanley to stay home alone with her children the subsequent night.
Stanley told prosecutors that over the next two days he spanked the child again for “pooping in his pants.” Veach was apparently in the house on one of those days, but in a different room. Court documents say the boyfriend hit the boy three to four times with his open hand.
"It's uncalled for. There's no reason to beat a child," Galbearth said. "You train them and teach them, not just purposely beat them for something like that."
Veach was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allowing Stanley to watch her children despite being aware of the alleged frequent abuse, according to The Examiner.
"If I did leave bruises it was unknowingly,” says Stanley.
Stanley's bail has been set at $30,000, while Veach's bail is $20,000.