(NewsReady.com) – In 2021, Arizona child welfare officials removed a 10-year-old girl from her mother’s custody. The decision came after they carried out an investigation when a family member reported the child was being abused. Recently, the abusers were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
A judge sentenced both 27-year-old Chloe Rae Sergent and 40-year-old Keola Cachero Wimbish to 20 years in prison. When they are released, they will each serve 10 years of supervised probation as well. The two pleaded guilty to child abuse charges.
According to reports, the child told investigators that she was the victim of sustained abuse. She described Wimbish waterboarding her using a bucket. She said that he also sexually abused her. He poured alcohol on her and then lit her on fire while they were staying at the home of another family member.
The child also said that Wimbish burned her with a metal straw and beat her with various items. Sergent, the little girl’s mother, beat her, broke her nose, and burned her leg. The duo withheld food from her, forced her to do drugs, and made her lie about where the injuries came from. Another child in the home told law enforcement that they saw the couple punch the 10-year-old in the face. A family member said they noticed the victim was always walking bent over and said her legs seemed to always have bandages on them.
According to the victim, the abuse started when Wimbish had an ankle monitor removed. It continued until authorities removed her from the home.
Child welfare officials took the little girl to the hospital after removing her from the home. Doctors reported that she had a cut on her leg that exposed the shinbone. She had 12 broken bones and other bruises, cuts, and burns. The injuries were infected because Sergent and Wimbish did not treat them.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said the abuse the child suffered was “horrific” and applauded the victim for coming forward to “bravely tell her story.”
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