News

Assault charges include torture

Island County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Banks said that a 37-year-old Coupeville man’s actions were tantamount to torture when he allegedly forced his 13-year-old daughter to sleep inside a dog carrier overnight.

Prosecutors charged the man, a Navy intelligence specialist with a Prowler squadron, in Island County Superior Court May 28 with second-degree assault by torture, unlawful imprisonment and assault in the second degree — domestic violence.

Banks explained that the man is being charged under a provision of the law that defines second-degree assault as “pain and agony that is the equivalent of torture.”

The News-Times is not publishing the name of the accused in order to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

According to a report by Deputy Lane Campbell of the Island County Sheriff’s Office, the man left his daughter at home with a babysitter when he went away for a weekend. He came home May 22 and found that the dogs had made a mess in portable kennels inside the house.

According to the report, the man became enraged and beat the girl for not cleaning the mess. He slapped her about the head about five or six times and then hit her with a metal broom handle “twenty to thirty times,” the report states.

The man tore up some of the girl’s books and drawings and made her clean up the kennels. The girl claimed that he then locked her inside one of the carriers, which measured only 3-feet by 2-feet by 3- feet, for nearly 11 hours. She had no food, no water and couldn’t go to the bathroom during that time.

The deputy found out about the alleged assault from an official at an Oak Harbor school. He photographed “substantial bruising” on the girl’s body.

According to Campbell, the man admitted striking his daughter with a metal mop handle and locking her in the dog kennel for “approximately seven hours.” The man said he was trying to teach her a lesson about “mistreating their two dogs,” Campbell wrote.

If convicted of the charges, the man could face up to a year and two months in prison. He was released May 28 after making the $100,000 bail.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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