SPARTANBURG CO, S.C. -
An Upstate mother and her boyfriend are facing charges after an investigation by Spartanburg County deputies.
Deputies said they were called to a Lil’ Cricket Food Store on March 6 about a possible child abuse case.
When deputies arrived, a neighbor of a 15-year-old told them the teen had shown her marks and bruises she said her mother, Tina Marie Taylor-Thomas, and her mother’s boyfriend, Donnie Ray Bragg Jr., had given her.
Deputies said the teen told them she was spanked by her mother 20 times with a paddle because she was suspended from school for stealing candy. She said Bragg hit her 5 or 6 time with a strap the same day.
The teen also told deputies Bragg would make her and her sister run up and down the driveway carrying rocks and make them do hundreds of squats.
She said Bragg makes them pick up gravel and spikes from a railroad track. She said she is only allowed to eat rice, oatmeal, and a vegetable. The teen said Bragg also made her take a bucket and toilet paper and use the bathroom outside. When he sent her outside, the teen said she ran to a neighbor’s house.
Bragg told authorities the children were out of control and he had to use punishments to control them and admitted spanking the teen for being suspended.
Investigators said they interviewed everyone involved and a search warrant was carried out. A judge then ordered the arrest of Bragg and Thomas.
Each have been charged with one count of child neglect and were released on a $10,000 bond.
The two other minor children, a boy age 13-years-old and a girl age 17-years-old, have been taken into protective custody and have been placed with DSS.