St. Louis Woman Sentenced 78 years For Waterboarding Her Children

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A St. Louis native, Lakechia Stanley, faces 34 felony counts and was sentenced on Friday to 78 years in prison for what prosecutors called “systematic torture” of her three children.

In October 2011, a school librarian discovered the abuse when one of the girls, 10 years old at the time, told her that her arm hurt. The girl said that she’d been beaten with a bat because she took too long to clean the kitchen and that her little sister, 8, had been beaten with a bat as well for taking too long in the shower. The librarian examined the girl’s arm, which was cold and hard to the touch. The girl was then sent to the hospital where medical personnel determined that she had suffered such trauma in her arm that the blood flow had become restricted.

All three of Stanley’s children revealed lasting scars and emotional trauma after further investigation and interviews. The children related stories of being beaten with multiple blunt objects, forced into freezing or scalding hot showers, whipped with electrical cords, and even waterboarded.

“What the defendant did to three of her own children far exceeds the definition of child abuse and amounts to systematic torture,” said Tanja Engelhardt,assistant circuit attorney . “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.”

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