BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX/AP) — The adoptive mother of a southwestern Illinois boy who authorities say was forced by his stepfather to do over 1,000 push-ups and eat two screws as punishment is now charged with misdemeanor child endangerment.
Prosecutors in St. Clair county charged 39-year-old Lashawn Jennings on Saturday.
Her husband, James Jennings, already had been charged with aggravated battery, domestic battery and child endangerment. He’s jailed on $400,000 bond.
Police began investigating last week after the 12-year-old boy reported the alleged abuse to a nurse at an elementary school on Scott Air Force Base, where Lashawn Jennings is stationed.
The Belleville News Democrat reports that the boy was severely punished because he got crumbs on the floor after eating cookies. St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Steve Johnson told the News Democrat that James Jennings beat the boy with a wooden paddle, made him eat screws and forced him to do over 1,000 push-ups as punishment. KMOV-TV reports that X-rays showed the screws inside the boy’s stomach.
Authorities say Lashawn Jennings was in Florida at the time of her husband’s alleged misconduct. She is being held on $20,000 bail.
Online court records do not show whether the Jennings have an attorney.
KMOX has reached out to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office for comment.
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