Police: Toddler Beaten, Burned, And Abused By Aunt

A toddler is lucky to be alive, after what Oregon doctors have called one of the worst child abuse cases they’ve ever seen. The Oregonian reports that 26-year-old Bethney N. Debonneville has been arrested in association with that abuse, which was inflicted on the Oregon woman’s own 3-year-old niece.

Police say that Debonneville turned herself into Oregon City police, after a warrant had been issued for her arrest. The crimes she is accused of committing have produced a handful of charges, but will justice be served for the 3-year-old girl?

The abuse of the 3-year-old toddler reportedly took place over a span of at least three weeks, ranging from the end of 2015 into the beginning of this year. Authorities became aware of the alleged child abuse when the 3-year-old girl was taken to an area hospital with numerous injuries in January. Doctors say that the child suffered from bruising and burns all over her body. Furthermore, while at the hospital, the little girl went into cardiac arrest. She also stopped breathing during the course of the January emergency.

Upon further examination, doctors found that the toddler was suffering from brain bleeding, which was consistent with injuries caused by child abuse. To make matters worse, the Oregon woman — who is the paternal aunt of the 3-year-old girl — gave inconsistent stories to authorities regarding how the child got her injuries. Police already think they know what happened, though, and statements given by doctors who treated the girl are only further incriminating Bethney Debonneville.

According to Child Help, approximately 80 percent of reported cases of child abuse are perpetrated by the parents or guardians of the victims. Incidents of child abuse inflicted by other members of the home are also common. Last year, a 9-year-old boy died in a reported case of child brutality. To make matters worse, the alleged perpetrators of the incident were the child’s own mother and uncle. Oriana Garcia and Jacob Barajas are accused of beating the boy to death for eating a piece of birthday cake without permission.

In 2013, a man reportedly killed and chopped up his own niece. The man was reportedly “drunk” when he roasted parts of the 18-month-old child, to the horror of the girl’s mother. The young mother of the infant had only left her in the care of her uncle for around 15 minutes when he reportedly committed the atrocious slaying.

As for this latest case, the Oregon woman has been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and third-degree assault. She has also been charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment and unlawful use of a weapon. The latter charge is stemming from at least one incident involving a wooden spoon. Police say that the toddler was beaten with the object, which caused bruising to her abdomen, back, legs and other parts of her body.

Police are also currently seeking a second person who may be charged in association with the alleged child abuse. The 28-year-old man hasn’t been named in media reports, but police believe that he will be charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment and second-degree child neglect. He has not yet been arrested, and his relationship to the Oregon woman in this case is not yet known.

[Image via Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office]