The aunt of two young children and her boyfriend are accused of beating and burning the minors over a period of several days in Minnesota, authorities said.
Jaime Rae Wilson and Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette, both 19, each face two counts of child torture in connection with what a Midwest Children’s Resource Center doctor in the Twin Cities called “the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years,” the Pioneer Press reported.
According to a complaint obtained by the publication, the couple was watching Wilson’s niece and nephew — a 5-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy — when emergency responders went to the pair’s St. Paul apartment after receiving a report that the younger child had fallen down the stairs.
According to the complaint, the girl had suffered “extreme abusive trauma” that included traumatic brain injury, a ruptured spleen, bruises that covered her body, cuts and cigarette burns.
The boy also had severe bruising, what appeared to be cigarette burns, a fractured bone in the back of his skull as well as bleeding on the brain, the complaint states.
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Wilson admitted during questioning that her boyfriend, Calzada-Russette, allegedly used a belt to beat the children, according to the complaint.
The girl also allegedly told a child protection worker that Calzada-Russette “did it and it was a lot of times,” the complaint states.
At the police station, Wilson’s family claimed they had attempted to report the teenager’s own 3-year-old daughter also may have been harmed, the Pioneer Press reported, noting the child was placed in protective custody.
Calzada-Russette allegedly told investigators he “hit the kids in a manner that would have left marks and bruising over the past few days” because they were “making messes, spilling water, and doing normal kid stuff,” the complaint states.
He also claimed his girlfriend, Wilson, allegedly told him she used a lighter and cigarettes to burn the children because they didn’t listen, according to the documents.
Calzada-Russette and Wilson were being held on $1 million bail.
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