Prosecutor: 12-year-old child abuse victim forced to wear dog's shock collar
(6/19/2019) - A stepmother is charged with torturing her 12-year-old step-daughter, including the use of a dog's shock collar on the girl.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the abuse lasted for months. The 12-year-old has been removed from the woman's home in Richfield Township and likely is facing months of recovery.
Tiffany Alvarado, who is the girl's step-mother, is married to her biological father, Leyton said.
Alvarado is accused of putting a dog's shock collar on the 12-year-old, which Leyton said she controlled with a button. The girl told police when she acted up, Alvarado would hit the button and cause the girl to shake uncontrollably.
"The child described it as staggering, she couldn't really stand up, her body would shake," he said.
Leyton said Alvarado also threw a hammer at the girl and hit her in the back of the head with a soup ladle, causing her to bleed.
Alvarado is facing six felony counts for the abuse, including first-degree child abuse, torture and four counts of second-degree child abuse.
"There are times when you have children that you have to work on their doing the right thing, if you will, and certain disciplinary techniques are needed. But I think what we have here is somebody who's crossed the line," Leyton said.
He said talking to children to help them understand the right decision and doing the right thing is a much better parenting method.
Alvarado's two children who also lived in the home have been removed. Leyton said there is no evidence they faced abuse like the 12-year-old.
Alvarado's husband and the girl's father is not facing any charges.
"Well, what I've read in the police reports is that Dad was away from home quite a bit, because of his work, because of other obligations that he had," Leyton explained.
But, he added, "I would say that the investigation is continuing and needs to continue and we're gonna look further into that part of it."