Authorities: DC boy with cerebral palsy was locked in room, malnourished by mom, boyfriend

Authorities say a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was subjected to child abuse by his mother and her boyfriend.

According to prosecutors, they say his mother and her boyfriend tortured him, locked him in a room and bound his hands with duct tape. When he was taken to the hospital, doctors found burns to his body as well as severe malnutrition.

The U.S. attorney laid out the allegations in a criminal complaint against the mother and her boyfriend. The boy told his father he was burned with water and his mother admitted she was ashamed of her son, punishing him by locking him in a room and taping him with duct tape.

Authorities say much of it happened in a Southeast D.C. neighborhood. Court documents and interviews reveal a story of abuse that took place from September 2013 to June 2014.

Prosecutors say the boy's mother, Betty Threatt, and her boyfriend, Lester Jackson, tortured and starved him.

This document lays out what Threatt told police. It reads she had Jackson change the locks on her son's room to lock from the outside. She hit him with a belt, even in his weakened state, and had Jackson wrap her son's ankles and wrist with tape and knew the tape was tearing his skin.

She went on to tell officials she hated her son and blamed him for her miscarriage.

Meanwhile, the abuse was stopped in June when the boy's father brought him to Children's National Medical Center. A source tells FOX 5 the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency became aware and helped the father facilitate the rescue.

Because of confidentiality rules, D.C. Child and Family Services was not able to speak about the case.

The court papers say when the boy's father asked about the burns and cuts on the boy's body, the mother apparently said he was playing football and backed into a boiling pot of water.

A grand jury indicted both the mother and boyfriend. They both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Their next court hearing is set for March 6.

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