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UPDATE: Concord mother charged with torturing her son

Last modified: 4/19/2013 3:00:20 PM
A Concord woman has been charged with torturing her 18-year-old son, burning and beating him over the course of at least several weeks. A second individual, a 20-year-old man from Tennessee, has also been charged with participating in the abuse by strangling the man, breaking his ankle and forcing him to eat feces.

Christine Gelineau, 52, was arraigned this morning at Concord’s district court along with Daniel Tyler Cantrell of Sparta, Tenn. Both were held on $200,000 cash bail. Cantrell was arrested at about 7 p.m. yesterday and Gelineau was taken into custody a few hours later, according to the police.

“This is among or one of the most disturbing things we’ve ever seen,” Concord police Lt. Timothy O’Malley said. “The victim is, we don’t believe his injuries are life-threatening, but they are extremely disturbing, and there are serious injuries.”

O’Malley said the police believe the abuse took place at Gelineau’s Modena Drive home. Most of the charges accuse the pair of abusing the man from April 10 to 14, but Cantrell is also charged with grabbing the man’s ankle and twisting it until it broke sometime since March 10.

Prosecutor Tracy Connolly said in court that officials at the Division of Children, Youth and Families were first contacted by a 12-year-old girl who witnessed much of the abuse while staying at the home for a weekend with her friend. That friend is the daughter of Gelineau’s niece, who also lives in the home, according to Connolly.

DCYF contacted the Concord police on Monday, according to an affidavit in the case. The police say detectives initially interviewed Gelineau’s son and Cantrell together, at which time the 18-year-old man claimed his injuries were self-inflicted. Both Gelineau and Cantrell have been charged with coercing the man to lie to the police.

The most unsettling injuries described in court documents pertain to the man’s burns.

According to the affidavit, Gelineau burned her son’s penis and Cantrell burned the man’s 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, according to the affidavit.

A detective reviewing the man’s injuries noted that his nipples were “completely burned off,” according to the affidavit. Doctors at Concord Hospital, where Connolly said the man was taken yesterday and is still being treated, 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 say 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 penis with a lighter.

Another charge accuses Cantrell of holding a lighted cigarette against the back of the man’s neck.

Both Gelineau and Cantrell withheld food from the man, and Cantrell forced him to drink urine, according to the affidavit. And while the 12-year-old girl was at the home for the weekend, she took a picture on her cell phone of Gelineau’s son sitting at a table being forced to eat what she said were worms, Connolly said.

“He was also told that if he did not eat some worms that were provided to him that they were going to burn his penis. He did in fact eat the worms,” Connolly said.

They burned him anyway, she said.

Connolly said many of the charges stem from the girl’s description of what she saw but also Cantrell’s and Gelineau’s own admissions of how they tortured the man.

“In speaking with the police yesterday, (Cantrell) gave, recited what he did to the victim with very little emotion, which causes the state ... to have a heightened concern for safety of the public.”

Cantrell and Gelineau were both arraigned today by video feeds from the county jail. The mother didn’t argue for a lower bail. Cantrell spoke only to tell Judge Gerard Boyle that he wanted to be transferred to Tennessee because he has no family in New Hampshire.

“I have no way of doing anything. I really don’t know what to do, honestly. I’m not saying what I’ve done was right. It was wrong but -,” he said before Boyle cut him off, saying he didn’t want to hear anything about the case.

The judge told Cantrell that he would be appointed a lawyer and could discuss his legal questions then.

Cantrell is facing eight Class B felonies and two Class A misdemeanors. Gelineau has been charged with three Class B felonies and two Class A misdemeanors. They’ve both been scheduled for probable cause hearings, where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for the case to be forwarded to a Merrimack County grand jury, on April 29.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @tricia_nadolny.)


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