Police in Arkansas were shocked by the physical condition of an abused four-year-old girl but they soon found that the child’s physical condition wasn’t the only damage the girl had sustained. There was mental abuse, too. The little one had withstood so much abuse she told police she thought her name was “idiot.”
Hot Springs Police found the child with bruises, a black eye, cuts, scars across her back, and rope burns around her wrists and feet and if that wasn’t bad enough when the officers asked her name they allege she startlingly replied “idiot,” as the Washington Post writes.
During an investigation, authorities found a total of six children in the home of Jennifer Denen and her live in boyfriend Clarence Reed, a man who was the father only of the youngest, an 11-month-old baby.
The child’s mother told police she had witnessed Reed beating the child with a large plastic baseball bat and admitted he often tied the girl to a bed as punishment for misbehavior. She also admitted she never did anything about the abuse and never sought medical attention for the child.
For his part, Reed admitted to being a stern disciplinarian, but excused away his habit of constantly calling the child “idiot” by insisting it was all just a joke.
Authorities charged both adults with domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering welfare of a minor.
All the children were removed from the home with four of the six placed in the custody of their own, natural father.
The four-year-old was treated at Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center and then remanded to the custody of the Department of Family Services.
The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported on Monday that Denen and Reed were being held on $500,000 bond and will next appear in Garland County District Court on August 23.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.