Two Oklahoma women have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the severe beating of their 5-year-old son.
Rachel Stevens, 29, and Kayla Jones, 26, plead no contest to child abuse and child neglect charges on Friday, Sept. 15, and the judge sentenced the women after a plea agreement was reached.
The young boy told authorities in December 2015 that his mother, Stevens, and her girlfriend, Jones, had beaten him with a belt, Tulsa World reports. Upon investigation, it was determined that the child had also been locked in a room, tied up and had duct tape sealed over his eyes.
To continue the brutal beating, Stevens hit the boy's hand with a hammer and Jones "kicked him so hard in the groin that it made him bleed," according to Tulsa World.
After the abuse, the boy was taken to a Muskogee clinic but was transferred to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa after he suffered through two seizures. He was then airlifted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where medical professionals determined he was malnourished and sustained several broken bones, each at a different stage of healing.
In 2016, CBS News reported that Stevens and Jones set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations on behalf of their son. They claimed the child was picking his face and was having seizures after falling down.
As part of the women's plea agreement, they are not allowed to contact the boy throughout their time behind bars. According to KFOR, police found another 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl living in the couple's home, but they did not believe those children had suffered abuse. The Department of Human Services took all the children into custody.
Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge told Tulsa World that the accepted plea agreement "was a conclusion that was carefully discussed with the family," he said.
"The nature of the injuries were very severe, but the child is doing very well now in a loving home," Loge said. "He is a completely different child now than when this (case) first came in."
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