A Georgia man beat his 13-year-old stepdaughter, forced her to eat cat food, made her bathe in peroxide and required her to complete cruel tasks as punishment during years of torture during which she was often made to attend school in urine-soaked clothes, authorities said.
Rimmon Lewis, 33, was charged with “15 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, four counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated stalking" for allegedly abusing the girl, who has been placed in state custody AJC reported.
Lewis’ wife and the teen's mom, Angela Strothers, 33, was indicted on “four counts of cruelty to children and one count of aggravated stalking. “
Counselors at the victim's school called police in March due to concerns about the teenager’s well-being.
The couple was initially arrested in April, charged and released on bond. But prosecutors added additional charges in late November after investigating further.
As a form of punishment, Lewis reportedly forced the teenager to stand on top of cans barefoot while writing sentences 1,000 times, WSB-TV reported.
"There were times she was only allowed to eat cat food, and there were times she wasn't allowed to eat at all until the defendant decided she could eat," prosecutor Tracie Cason said.
The victim was starved, beaten and locked in a laundry room for long periods of time, officials said. The teenager was allegedly locked in the room for so long she would sometimes urinate and defecate on herself -- and was then forced to go to school in the urine-soaked attire.
Lewis would “tell the child to stop stuttering” and “push his thumbs into the mouth of [victim] with such force as to split the corners of her mouth and with such severity to leave scarring to both corners of her mouth,” the indictment stated.
Lewis also forced the child to take baths in either extremely hot or cold water that contained peroxide or lemon juice.
"It's amazing to me how this child survived as long as she did," Cason said.
Strothers posted the required bond and was released from jail. Prosecutors said Strothers was not directly aware of all the abuse but was aware of the victim being starved and beaten. She also reportedly went to her husband and informed him when her daughter was not following his rules.
This was not the first time Lewis has been accused of abuse. In 2014, Lewis was arrested for abusing the same teenager. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was put on probation. Lewis was sentenced to five years in prison during the summer for violating his probation.
Authorities said Lewis violated his probation by having contact with his stepdaughter despite a judge ordering him not to have any communication with the teen.