A Texas couple are in jail after they allegedly waterboarded a 13-year-old boy and tied a rope around his genitals.
The Kaufman County Sheriff wants Christi Howell, 41, and her boyfriend Casey Shackleford, 46, charged with a single count of causing injury to a child, a felony that could send them to prison for 20 years.
The arrests stem from an incident in Dallas on Jan. 26, when Howell and Shackleford decided to discipline her son for “putting his finger inside the family dog’s butt,” according to an affidavit prepared by Kaufman County Sheriff's Sgt. Jimmy Weisbruch.
When the boy told Shackleford what he’d done, the man "grabbed him by the hair and pinned him on the ground," telling the boy’s mother "to get cold water and pour it over the victim’s face while he held a towel over his head," Weisbruch wrote.
The affidavit refers to Shackleford and Howell’s actions as "waterboarding," a technique used by U.S. intelligence officers to forcibly extract information from suspected terrorists at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After the waterboarding, the affidavit states, Shackleford sat the child on the couch and demanded that he explain what he’d done, slapping him on the face whenever he looked away.
Shackleford then allegedly told his girlfriend to find a “pig rope” and tie it around her child’s “private parts.” Howell then allegedly pulled on the rope and tied the other end around the boy’s neck. Her boyfriend then pushed the child into the couch, “causing him to sit up and pull on the rope that was tied around his private parts,” the affidavit states.
The boy, who is not named in the affidavit but was said to have an intellectual disability, told investigators that the rope left burn marks on his genitals. He also said that Shackleford and Howell would often beat him with a stick for not doing push-ups properly.
Howell was arrested on Feb. 9 and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, the Dallas Morning News reported. Shackleford, who has previously been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, turned himself in on Wednesday.
It was unclear whether Howell or Shackleford had retained an attorney.
Read the entire affidavit here
Nicolás Medina Mora is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Nicolás Medina Mora at email@example.com.
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