A Tennessee man who is a registered sex offender and his girlfriend were accused of aggravated child abuse and neglect against their three children, including charges they disciplined their 5-year-old daughter by stuffing her in an unlit oven.
WBIR-TV reported on Saturday that 34-year-old Lavelldo Washington and 23-year-old Corneisha Wilkerson were indicted by a grand jury. Washington has at least 29 arrests on his criminal record. According to state records, Washington was registered as a sex offender in 2005 after being found guilty of sex acts to a minor.
The child and her two siblings, a 1-year-old boy and a 2-month-old girl, were taken into protective custody by authorities.
“Certainly, I’m not an expert on child discipline, but most of the time, appropriate forms of discipline are those things that most folks would know,” said Nashville Police Captain Gordon Howey. “What if the child had been in the oven and somehow it had turned on?”
The Tennessean reported that the couple had been under investigation after taking their younger daughter, Nevaeh Washington, to the hospital saying she woke up screaming. Doctors found she had a broken left leg and bruises on both legs. The couple reportedly told police they thought she had been bitten by an insect.
WTVF-TV reported that the couple is being held on a $50,000 bond.
Watch WBIR’s report on the investigation into Washington and Wilkerson, aired Saturday, below.