Arizona couple arrested for extreme abuse of child
Glendale, Arizona: 26-year-old Chloe Sergent and 39-year-old Keola Wimbish are scheduled to appear in court tomorrow morning for arraignment on charges related to the extreme abuse of Sergent's daughter who was removed from the home in December 2021 by the Office of Child Welfare.
Both Sergent and Wimbish have denied abusing the girl and claimed to not know how she became injured.
Both Sergent and Wimbish were initially arrested on a single charge of child abuse on April 5 and were released on $50,000 bond from the Maricopa County Jail.
After her removal from the home, the child was taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital for treatment. A medical examination revealed injuries including 12 broken bones, a laceration on her lower leg that exposed her shin bone, and various abrasions, bruises and possible burns, none of which had received appropriate medical care resulting in some injuries being infected.
The child was further determined to be suffering from chronic malnutrition.
After removal from the home, the girl participated in two forensic interviews.
In the initial interview, she accused an uncle of being responsible for the abuse she had endured. She alleged that she had been hit with a machete, a hammer, and a crowbar "in multiple areas of her body."
Police then contacted that individual and spoke to him. He denied any wrongdoing and told officers that between November and December 2021 he had witnessed Sergent and Wimbish strike the girl.
In a second interview the girl reportedly told officers that she had been threatened and instructed by Sergent and Wimbish to lie about who had abused her. According to court documents cited by several outlets, the girl told that her mother had broken her nose and burned her leg, and that she had been forced by Sergent and Wimbish to do drugs from a straw.
Additional forms of abuse that the girl told investigators about included strangulation, waterboarding, sexual abuse and being set on fire with a lighter after alcohol was poured on her.
The girl went on to say that another child in the home had been instructed to hit her in addition to Sergent and Wimbish both punching her in the face. The other child confirmed her statements and also claimed to have witnessed Sergent and Wimbish striking the girl.
Police also spoke with Wimbish's sister. She described the girl as always having bandages on her legs and that she had observed the girl walking "hunched over." She additionally told investigators that she had never seen Sergent or Wimbish feed her.
The abuse is said to have started in December 2020 after Wimbish had an ankle monitor removed and continued until she was removed from the home.
According to court records, Sergent has now been charged with seven counts of child abuse and one count of threat or intimidation with injury.
Wimbish now faces 11 counts of child abuse, two counts of threat or intimidation with injury, and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
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