Dad and stepmom accused of waterboarding nine-year-old

Dad and stepmom accused of waterboarding nine-year-old (CNN Newsource, KSTU)

PROVO, Utah (WKRC) - A father and mother in Utah stand accused of waterboarding a nine-year-old girl.

Brittany Calabrese is the mother of a little girl who was subjected to this form of torture by her father and stepmother.

When Child Protection Services called her she couldn't believe it.

"She`s nine, nine years old. That is torture of a child," Calabrese said.

29-year-old Joseph Maeser Mitchell and the child's stepmother Ilaria Catherina Mitchell were arrested after detectives interviewed the nine-year-old and heard about the disturbing details.

"On three separate occasions they held her in the bathtub, put a towel over her face and poured water on her face and throughout the forensic interview with detectives she said it causes her pain and it made her unable to breathe," Sergeant Nisha King said.

The little girl also disclosed that her stepmother hit her with a closed fist.

Police were alerted to the situation when Joseph brought his daughter into a hospital and nurses saw something was wrong.

Sergeant King said, "The emergency room staff observed some marks on her wrists which led them to alert the division of child and family services."

Calabrese lives in Texas and was emotionally distraught upon hearing the news and being so far away.

Both father and stepmother are being charged with one count of child abuse.

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