Thursday police say a Texas woman and her boyfriend were arrested for allegedly punishing her 13-year-old son by tying a rope around his genitals and subjecting him to waterboarding.
According to an affidavit filed by a Kaufman County sheriff’s investigator, the boy told investigators Casey Shackleford, the mother’s boyfriend, allegedly grabbed him by the hair, pinned him down and held a towel over his face as Christi Howell, his mother, poured water over his head and nose.
The affidavit notes the tactic is known as waterboarding, which was once used by the U.S. to question terror suspects but has since been banned.
“The victim said that he was able to breathe slightly if he moved his head to the side and that kept him from feeling like he was drowning,” the affidavit said.
The boy told authorities the torture he received came after he told Shackleford he inappropriately touched the family dog. According to KHOU, Shackleford would slap the boy in the face if he didn’t maintain contact with him or Howell.
The boy told authorities he was tied to his genitals for “5 to 10 minutes” and said he had small cuts and burns around that area from the rope. He also said he was punished by his mother for not performing pushups properly.
The couple was being held at the Kaufman County Jail, each facing a charge of felony injury to a child, said Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Fred Klingelberger. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Neither the man nor the woman had a defense attorney listed in jail records, and no phone numbers were publicly listed for their home. No court hearings had been scheduled Thursday in either case, according to online court records.
The woman was booked into jail on Feb. 9, and she remains in custody with a $250,000 bond. The man turned himself in Wednesday and was expected to be booked into jail Thursday.
The child is now in foster care, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.