A family is sentenced to jail time for abusing their kids in a way that a detective with the Madison County Sheriff's office calls it the worst case of child abuse he's ever been involved with.
The court played a 20 minute videotape shot by the step father where the family makes fun of a boy while he is forced to eat a spicy sauce so hot it can cause injury when taken in large quantities
. The hot sauce was used as a punishment.
The parents force fed their child Gold Caps World's Hottest Sauce and it's 35 times hotter than Tabasco sauce
. All 3 defendants pled guilty to child abuse.
68-year-old Rose Bemis
, the grandmother, will spend 3 days in jail.
The mother, Karen Kathleen Pacheco
, will spend 6 days in jail.
And the stepfather, Jose Leal Pacheco
, will spend 13 days in jail.
All 3 already spent 2 days in jail upon the initial arrest.
"There was something that was not right!" exclaimed the daughter of Bemis.
"Exactly, I've lived in that house, there was no abuse. They got sha..." agreed another woman, who was cut off by the first woman.
The 20 minute video played in the courtroom has not been released by the prosecutor yet. In it the parents deny water to a child, despite multiple requests. The child says "It burns." "Can I be excused." "It hurts too much."
But he wasn't excused until he ate a bowl of food that the prosecution contends had lots of hot sauce in it. This is something that the defense never makes a point of denying.
"I think it was outrageous, as you saw in the video the parents laughed, belittled, made fun of, showed no care or concern in my opinion," said Wood.
The Judge in his verdict said the defendants were guilty of torture.
This investigation started when a resource officer at Madison Junior High noticed signs of abuse including bruises and even markings on the child's face that appeared to be burns.
"Something needed to be done. He obviously very graphically and very vividly told me what had happened to him and his brothers over the years. I wouldn't wish this, the things these kids went through on anybody. It was horrendous what they went through. The stories that have been told to me are heart wrenching," said Wood.
Detective Wood says it wasn't the hot sauce that was the worst abuse, but, he says, it was bad enough
The manufacturer of the hot sauce was destroyed when Katrina hit New Orleans, so you'd be hard pressed to find a bottle of it any more.
The 3 children who were abused were removed from the home immediately and placed in foster care. A 4th child, who is the biological son of both parents, is still living with them.
The father is serving his time first, then the mother will, so a parent will be home with the child.