A St. Louis, Missouri woman who admitted to severely abusing her children using outrageous methods like waterboarding has now been sentenced to 78 years in prison.
34-year-old Lakechia Schonta Stanley admitted to what prosecutors described as “systematic torture” in which she brutally beat, whipped, and waterboarded her children. The abuse was first acknowledged by one of Stanley’s children in October 2011 when she went to school complaining of bad pain in her arm. It was then discovered that Stanley beat the girl with a baseball bat because she didn’t clean the kitchen as quickly as she wanted her to.
When the school’s librarian was informed by the young girl about the abuse, she examined her arm and noticed that it was cold and hard to touch. When the girl was taken to the hospital, it was determined that the trauma from the beating caused the blood supply to have problems reaching the limb. The girl, who was 10 at the time she reported the abuse, also acknowledged that her eight-year-old sister had been abused because she had taken too long in the shower.
“What the defendant did to three of her own children far exceeds the definition of child abuse and amounts to systematic torture," wrote assistant circuit attorney Tanja Engelhardt to the judge in a sentencing document. "She was supposed to be their mother, the one person they could trust. Instead she became a symbol of betrayal and fear, using every tool at her disposal to beat and torture her own innocent children.”
For the 34 felonies that Stanley faced, she was sentenced to 78 years in prison. Her 30-year-old husband Andrew Rui Stanley was previously sentenced to 160 years behind bars for similar charges.