IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO: An Idaho woman has been arrested and charged after police said she tortured a five-year-old boy by binding his feet and hands and then holding him underwater until he passed out.
Lashauna Eskeets, 28, first came to the attention of the authorities after they were alerted about abuse when the boy was admitted to the Idaho Falls Community Hospital on May 26 with severe injuries, according to East Idaho News.
When questioned, Eskeets claimed that the young boy had fallen and hurt himself. But that story was not consistent with the injuries he had suffered, which included swelling around the head and eyes, old fractures of the ribs, and a fractured right arm that had not been set properly. The five-year-old also had several bruises and abrasions on his ankles and was considered to be malnourished after he was found to weigh just 35 pounds.
Asked about the abuse, the boy was initially hesitant to talk but eventually explained that he had been “spanked” by Eskeets, court documents said. Investigators learned the “spanks” he had received were slaps to the head for eating cake when he was not supposed to.
The boy then described multiple incidents where the 28-year-old had tried to place him underwater in a sink for extended periods of time. He said that when he struggled to avoid going underwater, she would tie his hands and feet, and then hold him down until he passed out.
When investigators spoke with Eskeets again, she admitted to using numerous techniques to torture the boy. She said she would strangle him until he became limp, and that she used to think this was the worst she could do until she discovered water torture.
She said she would hold him underwater when he did not do what she wanted and that she used strips of cloth to bind his arms and legs to keep him from kicking when he struggled. She also described incidents where she kicked and hit the boy and then searched the internet for remedies to hide the bruises. She said that the abuse escalated over time because her frustrations with the child grew.
Investigators estimated that the boy was strangled between 50 and 70 times and endured water torture around 30 times.
“I asked what she was thinking during these incidents of abuse and Lashauna was thinking how much she hated him,” a detective wrote in the affidavit. “Lashauna’s intent was for him to listen to her.”
Arrangements were made for the boy and another child living at her home to be transported to Primary Children’s hospital in Salt Lake City to receive treatment and care. Both of them have since been placed in foster care.
Eskeets was arrested on Friday, June 5, and has been charged with six counts of felony injury to a child and one count of felony aggravated battery in connection to the abuse. She is currently being held at the Bonneville County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
A preliminary hearing for the 28-year-old has been scheduled for June 12. If convicted of her charges, she faces up to 75 years in prison.