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July 30, 2009 permalink
When Oklahoma foster mother Joycelyn Louis did not get obedience from her nine-year-old ward, she branded him with a potato masher. A gruesome video is included with the article below (local copy swf). In the story, there is no suggestion to hold DHS accountable for the abuse.
Woman accused of branding child with potato masher
BOBBIE MILLER REPORTING
MIDWEST CITY -- It's one of the worst cases of child abuse Midwest City Police say they've ever seen. A foster mother accused of branding a child all over his body.
Chief Brandon Clabes, Midwest City Police Department, said "You know how painful it is when you just get a minor burn. Can you imagine this poor, little 9 year old being repeatedly branded by a woman who's supposed to be taking care of him & loving him?"
Midwest City Police say the 9-year-old boy suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns from his foster mother as a punishment.
Clabes said, "The foster mother accused him of stealing money from her. At that point she took this potato masher, heated it on the stove to where it was red hot & branded him."
The boy told police he then went back to his bedroom, started crying and then the 72-year-old foster mother Joycelyn Louis told him "I'm not finished with you" and continued to burn him. She then allegedly told him, if anybody asks, "say you were accidentally burned."
The foster mother refused to talk with police, but on the affidavit we see she told a DHS worker, "the child would not listen so she she heated the potato masher on the stove and pressed it lightly to his skin on his arms."
The boy is in DHS custody. Police are waiting for a warrant for Louis' arrest. We went to her house and family-owned business to talk to her, but her family said she did not want to talk to us.
Addendum: The accused, Joycelyn Louis, died in April 2010 from congenital heart failure before she could come to trial.