WARNING: Details in this case of abuse may be considered disturbing.
SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man and woman are accused of abusing a child under 8 years old in Sumner County for nearly a year and a half.
According to court documents, Norbert D’Souza and Anette Rodrigues, 49, abused their now 7-year-old daughter between May 2021 and October 2022.
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They were indicted on Oct. 5 on nine charges described in the documents as “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, or involved in the infliction of torture.”
D’Souza struck the child with a belt and twice forced her to “consume human excrement, which caused her to become ill,” according to court documents.
Rodrigues is accused of biting the girl’s fingers and toes, grabbing and scratching her all over her body, including twice on her vagina.
Both parents were charged with unlawfully and unknowingly failing to protect their child.
Rodrigues was arrested on Oct. 19, 2022 after a Department of Children’s Services investigator notified a White House police detective about the potential abuse of an elementary school child.
According to an affidavit, the then 6-year-old girl had “lacerations and tear marks from fingernails on her neck.” The girl reportedly told the DCS investigator Rodrigues grabbed her by the neck because she didn’t say her prayers and eat her breakfast fast enough.
Rodrigues told the detective the girl hurt herself playing with a knife but when isolated from her mother, the child told investigators her mother choked her until she could not breathe, according to arrest documents.
The DCS investigator and detective reportedly removed the girl from her parents’ custody, which is when D’Souza begged them not to take the child away while Rodrigues said nothing. She was then placed in the custody of Rodrigues’ employer. Meanwhile, Rodrigues was charged with aggravated domestic assault.
D’Souza and Rodrigues were booked in the Sumner County jail Wednesday. They are being held on a $150,000 bond each.
No additional information was immediately released.
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.