KEMP -- A woman and her boyfriend have been charged with injury to a child for allegedly waterboarding a 13-year-old relative and tying a rope around his genitals as punishment for inappropriate behavior with the family pet.
According to the affidavit for the arrest warrant obtained by WFAA, Kaufman County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jimmy Weisbruch was called to observe a forensic interview with the victim at the Kaufman County Children's Advocacy Center on February 8.
The victim told the interviewer that on Jan. 29, he had told Casey Shackleford, the woman's boyfriend, that he had inappropriately touched the family dog.
"The victim stated that he wanted to be honest and admit what he had done and that was why he told Casey," the affidavit reads.
The victim then told the interviewer that Shackleford, 45, reacted by grabbing him by the hair, pinning him down, and telling the woman, Christi Howell, 40, to pour cold water over the boy's face as he held a towel over it. The boy said he was able to avoid the feeling of drowning from the waterboarding by moving his head to the side so he could breathe slightly.
The 13-year-old then told the interviewer Shackleford grabbed him and put him on the couch, and told him to explain what he had done. Shackleford would slap the boy in the face if he broke eye contact with him or Howell. According to the warrant, Shackleford then told Howell to get a "pig rope" and tie it to his "private parts."
Howell did as Shackleford requested, and then "pulled on the rope as if she was trying to pull him around and off the couch," the warrant says. Shackleford then told Howell to tie the rope around the back of the boy's neck, while it was still attached to his genitals. The boy told the interviewer Shackleford then pushed him back onto the couch, causing him to sit back and pull the rope tighter.
In all, the boy told authorities the rope was tied to his genitals for "five to ten minutes" and said he had small cuts and burns in that area from the rope. Sgt. Weisburch was shown photographs taken by a CPS investigator that showed injuries consistent with the boy's telling of events.Later in the forensic interview, the 13-year-old said in the past, he had been punished by Howell, for not performing pushups properly. If he didn't have good form, the boy said "that [Howell] would hit him 20 to 30 times in the back, butt, and elbows with a stick[.]"
Sgt. Weisburch later followed up by making contact with an investigator with the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office, according to the affidavit. Weisburch received an incident report in which Howell had admitted to tying the rope around the boy, but she said Shackleford "came up with the idea and told her to do it." She also admitted to waterboarding the boy while Shackleford held the towel.
Howell was arrested on Feb. 9 and charged with injury to a child, a second-degree felony. Her bond was set at $250,000. Shackleford turned himself in on Wednesday and is charged with injury to a child. His probation was also revoked.