Trio charged in Flint, Facebook child video showing child struck - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Trio charged in Flint, Facebook child video showing child, repeatedly, struck with belt

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(04/08/14) - Three people have been charged with child abuse following a video posted on Facebook showing an 11-year-old boy being slapped, yelled at and repeatedly hit with a belt.

The child's mother, 28, was arrested Monday. The others had been in custody, on unrelated warrants, since Friday.

All three were arraigned by video late, Tuesday morning.

We are not naming the boy's mother in order to protect his identity.

She, 42-year-old Uteas Taylor and 40-year-old Stefan Felton have each been charged with three counts - conspiracy to commit third-degree child abuse, third-degree child abuse and committing third-degree child abuse in the presence of another child.

Flint Police said Taylor is the one seen striking the boy, on his backside, with a belt and more than 60 times in the more than six minute video. The child was forced to bend over a chair while being hit. Police allege Taylor's boyfriend, Felton, is the one who recorded the incident using a cell phone. Taylor and Felton are not biologically related to the child.

Throughout the video, the adults yell at the boy for his behavior. Near the end of the clip, the child was crying and squirming around while being struck and still forced to hold the chair and bend over.  A  baby was also in the room and in clear view of what was happening.

"The adults in this case clearly went beyond what is a reasonable level of 'parental discipline,'" said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. "What the video in this case reveals is a group of adults whose actions were a criminal assault against a child and that behavior cannot be condoned nor allowed under the law."

The boy's mother is seen slapping him in the face once. She tells him, more than once, the video is going up on Facebook and urged those watching to "call CPS" and report it. Many did and the video went viral.

Investigators believe the abuse and recording of it occurred Thursday. Taylor and Felton were arrested Friday morning after Child Protective Services and Flint Police, responding to calls about the video, started looking into it.

Flint Police Detective Sergeant Brett Small told 68th District Court Judge Nathaniel Perry, while getting the warrants signed, the boy did have minor injuries. It's not clear who is caring for the child now.

Bond was set at $22,500 for the mother and $25,500 for Taylor and Felton.

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