Police say a Pennsylvania woman tortured her 2-year-old son with at least 15 cigarette burns while her boyfriend watched and laughed.
Police have jailed 19-year-old Anna Russell and 25-year-old Enrique (en-REE’-kay) Soto on charges including aggravated assault and conspiracy.
Police say the burns were inflicted on Aug. 1 and were discovered a week later when the boy’s grandmother took him to a hospital. Doctors told police the burns were “administered deliberately, in a chronological order, over a very short period of time in one sitting.”
Police have since interviewed the boy’s 3-year-old sister who told them Russell burned the boy while Soto watched and laughed. Online court records don’t list an attorney for the East Pittsburgh couple, who face a preliminary hearing April 19.
EAST PITTSBURGH, Pa. —An East Pittsburgh couple is in jail, facing charges stemming from an alleged incident that occurred last August.
Anna Russell and Enrique Soto were unable to post bail after being arrested in the past 24 hours.
The criminal complaint outlines that a doctor at Children’s Hospital discovered what happened to a 2-year-old boy.
His grandmother brought him to be examined last August.
The doctor who did the examination, “found with a high degree of medical certainty that these wounds were consistent with cigarette burns,” according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint also says, “Whoever inflicted these wounds upon [the boy] did so intentionally, knowingly and recklessly,”
The complaint indicates it happened at the Highland Manor apartments in East Pittsburgh.
The complaint says there were at least 15 burn marks on the 2-year-old’s legs, left hand, left arm, neck, back and face.
The boy and his sister were placed into foster care after that examination, according to the complaint.
Case workers then interviewed the 3-year-old sister in January.
She told them she saw the whole thing happen.
The 3-year-old said it was her mother, Anna Russell that was putting the cigarettes out on the 2-year-old and telling the case worker,
“[The] boyfriend, Enrique Soto, laughed the whole time her brother [was being burned],” according to the complaint.
Allegheny County detectives observed another examination of the child at Children’s in March, and a warrant for Enrique Soto and Anna Russell’s arrest was issued Wednesday night.
“I think that’s terrible. No child should have to go through that,” said June Klein.
Klein lives in the same neighborhood, has kids and grandkids and says she can’t imagine these allegations, let alone so close to her home.
“We have pretty good people here,” Klein said.
Soto and Russell have been arrested and are currently at the Allegheny County Jail awaiting preliminary hearings next week.
Both face charges of assault, child endangerment and criminal conspiracy.
Via WTAE 4