Second relative charged with torturing teenager
The teenager who officials said was burned and beaten by his mother and an acquaintance was also tortured by his cousin, according to the police, who said they are still uncovering disturbing layers to the abuse inside the family’s Penacook home.
Amy Nason was charged yesterday and accused of pressuring the 18-year-old man to ingest urine, feces, worms and dish soap. She refused bail and will be arraigned Monday at Concord’s district court.
Her aunt, 52-year-old Christine Gelineau, as well as 20-year-old Daniel Cantrell of Sparta, Tenn., were each charged with a string of assault-related felonies on Wednesday.
All three have been charged with pressuring the teenager to tell detectives his bruises and broken bones were self-inflicted.
The police said he maintained that lie – out of fear – until only recently.
Nason, who turned 29 yesterday, has been convicted of cruelty before. Court documents show she left several animals to live in squalor at a Lee apartment she had been evicted from.
The Concord police began investigating the conditions at the family’s Island Shore Estates townhouse Monday after being contacted by the Division for Children, Youth and Families, according to Lt. Timothy O’Malley. DCYF was notified by the parents of a 12-year-old girl who had spent a weekend at the home with her friend, Nason’s daughter, O’Malley said.
The charges span a nearly six-week period from March 10 to Wednesday.
A city prosecutor at Cantrell and Gelineau’s arraignment Thursday said some of the charges stem from the 12-year-old girl’s report. But the mother and Cantrell also admitted to much of the abuse, according to the prosecutor, who said the man recounted his actions with “very little emotion.”
According to the affidavit, Gelineau burned her son’s penis and Cantrell burned his nipples, holding a lighter to them for about two minutes as he screamed in pain. Throughout that incident, Gelineau beat her son over the head with a stick, the police said.
A detective reviewing the man’s injuries noted that his nipples were “completely burned off,” according to the affidavit. Doctors at Concord Hospital, where O’Malley said the man was taken Wednesday and was still being treated yesterday, said he suffered second- and third-degree burns.
Gelineau is also accused of stabbing her son with a pen and kicking him in the face. The police said on several occasions Cantrell pulled a piece of fabric around the man’s throat so tightly that he couldn’t breathe. He’s also accused of confining the man in a bedroom and tying his hands behind his back so Gelineau could burn his genitals with a lighter.
Other charges accuse Cantrell of holding a lit cigarette against the back of the man’s neck and twisting his ankle until it broke.
The police said there is no apparent motivation.
“Right now the best thing we can come up with is abject cruelty,” O’Malley said.
Nason, who Cantrell said in court is pregnant with his child, was charged with animal cruelty in August 2011 after her landlord reported that she had been evicted and left her pets behind.
Police officers found 11 animals there, including a dead turtle and a dead cat, which was outside and decomposing, according to court documents. Several animals were outside the home without food or water when officers arrived, including a cat that had given birth to two kittens that were inside, where the mother could not reach.
The apartment was filthy, according to the officers, who had difficulty walking through it because of the amount of feces and urine on the floors. A small amount of dog food had been left in bowls, and an open container of bird food for the parakeets was in a bedroom, but the officers found no water available to the animals, according to the affidavit.
Most of the animals were found to be neglected, including three dogs that were infested with fleas and Lyme disease. The two kittens were found behind a pile of debris on a kitchen counter where they had no blanket or bed, according to the affidavit.
Nason claimed to be an animal lover and denied the allegations, according to media reports.
But in February she pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty and was ordered to pay about $2,700 in restitution.
In the Concord case, she’s facing two Class B felonies, one for reckless conduct and one for tampering with a witness. O’Malley said the reckless conduct charge is a felony-level offense because the police are considering the feces she’s accused of pressuring the man to eat to be a deadly weapon, as it could have made him ill.