88°F
weather icon Clear

Utah girl punished using waterboarding 3 times, prosecutors say

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah couple used waterboarding as punishment for their 9-year-old daughter after she got out of bed to get a cup of water, prosecutors said in charges filed Wednesday.

They took her into a bathroom with the cup, then bound her hands, covered her face with a towel and poured water it for several minutes, leaving her unable to breathe. The girl’s stepmother told her at one point she “could die from this happening,” charges state.

The child told police that the waterboarding had happened three times as punishment for things like eating frosting. Her father and stepmother also use belts and hangers to hit her, and sometimes have her do workouts like squats or push-ups as punishment, she told officers who were called to a hospital on Dec. 3.

Police found injuries consistent with tied hands as well as other scratches and bruises, charges say. Two of the couple’s other children also said they use things like cellphone charging cords and shoes to hit them.

The father “adamantly denied” using any objects as punishment, though the said he sometimes uses an open hand to spank their bottoms. He said the girl had gotten a drink after bedtime and they tried to put her in time-out but she wouldn’t stay there. So they brought her to the hospital because they “needed help.”

The father and stepmother were each charged with three felony and one misdemeanor counts of child abuse.

The Associated Press isn’t identifying couple to protect the girl’s identity. No attorney was immediately listed for either defendant in court records.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
US envoy, Taliban to resume talks on ending 18-year Afghan war

The U.S. envoy negotiating with the Taliban for an end to nearly 18 years of fighting in Afghanistan was departing Tuesday for Qatar to resume the talks, the State Department said.

Nuclear watchdog says Russia has resumed sharing radiation data

Russia has resumed sharing data from its radiation monitoring stations in Siberia after some were taken offline following a deadly explosion at a missile range, a nuclear weapons watchdog said Tuesday.

California freeway crossing to give big cat room to roam

Like many urban singles, the mountain lion P-22 lives a solitary life in a too-small habitat. And he has a hard time finding a mate in the big city.