Teens charged with torture of children they were watching
St. Paul, Minnesota: Two teens are behind bars on felony charges of child torture after two children in their care were transported to the hospital for treatment in September.
On Wednesday, September 21, emergency services responded to a residence for a report of a 2-year-old that had fallen down the stairs.
KSTP reports that on the ambulance ride to the hospital 19-year-old Jamie Rae Wilson was noted as behaving in an odd manner including refusing to allow the child's clothing to be removed for examination purposes.
At the hospital, it was discovered that the boy was suffering from a skull fracture and both old and new brain bleeds. In addition, it was noted that his body was covered with bruises and what looked like possible cigarette burns. He was transported to the pediatric intensive care unit at Gillette Children's Hospital for further treatment.
When initially interviewed by police about the injuries the child had sustained Wilson first said the child had fallen down stairs. Later, she allegedly stated that the boy had injuries when he was dropped off and then later changed her story once more to say that her boyfriend, 19-year-old Diego Ramon Calzada-Roussette had hit the child with a belt multiple times.
Police did not initially know that there was another child involved until a "melee" broke out at police headquarters when Wilson was brought in for additional questions and arrived with her 3-year-old daughter.
The girl was placed into child protection after family members told officers that they had been attempting to report suspected abuse for more than a year and were concerned about her wellbeing after hearing about the injuries to the other children.
It was evidently this encounter that led officers to look into the wellbeing of a 5-year-old girl.
The girl was taken to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis and identified Calzada-Roussette as her abuser to a child protection worker. According to the Pioneer Press she told the social worker that he "did it a lot of times."
A Midwest Children's Resource Center doctor who evaluated the girl's injuries is quoted in the complaint as telling an officer that it was "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."
The girl's injuries are said to include a traumatic brain injury, ruptured spleen, bruising over nearly every part of her body, cuts, and cigarette burns. Additionally, she was diagnosed as having "extreme abusive trauma."
When interviewed by officers Calzada-Roussette reportedly initially blamed the boy's injuries on a fall down the stairs. When confronted about the girl's injuries and her statement that he had abused her, he allegedly responded saying that Wilson had instructed her to say that.
Calzada-Roussette's mother accompanied him to the police station for questioning and according to KSTP, alleged that the abuse was the result of Wilson not taking medication for bipolar disorder.
Eventually, Calzada-Roussette allegedly confessed to striking the children "in a manner that would have left marks and bruising over the past few days" for such things as "making messes, spilling water, and doing normal kid stuff."
He accused Wilson of burning the children with cigarettes for not listening.
Wilson remains behind bars in the Ramsey County Jail and has an omnibus hearing scheduled for October 18, 2022.
Law and Crime reports that both made initial appearances in court on Monday, September 26 and were ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond. Despite this, no listing can be located for Calzada-Roussette to confirm his location.
Each count of felony child torture carries a maximum possible sentence of 25-years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. Calzada-Roussette and Wilson have both been charged with two counts each of felony child torture.
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