An Arizona couple faces child abuse charges after they allegedly forced their 6-year-old to stand outside barefoot as a form of punishment, causing severe burns on his feet.
According to court documents obtained by KNXV in Phoenix, officers responded to the burn center at Maricopa Medical Center on July 12 to check on a child who had severe burns on his feet.
The high temperature in Phoenix on July 12 was 110 degrees, according to Weather Underground.
The boy’s father, Mark Simmons, told Phoenix Police Department investigators he took the boy outside and made him stand barefoot on the ground in the backyard as a form of punishment, Phoenix television station KTVK reported.
According to the court papers, the boy was forced to stand outside for 10 minutes.
The boy’s stepmother, Sarah Simmons, allegedly cut the boy’s blistered skin and told him “if he didn’t stop crying, he would go back outside and burn worse,” the 6-year-old told police.
Sarah Simmons admitted she knew about the boy’s burns and blisters but did not report it for about 24 hours because she was afraid the children in the home would be taken away, according to court documents.
According to KPNX, another Phoenix station, the boy’s stepmother has had approximately 30 prior reports with the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
While Sarah Simmons told police they applied bandages and medication, it was not until the boy’s wounds became infected that she called the Fire Department for medical care.
Mark Simmons was booked on suspicion of two counts of child abuse. Sarah Simmons was booked on suspicion of one count of intent to commit child abuse.