Roommates accused of abusing girl, 3 - FOX Carolina 21

Roommates accused of abusing girl, 3

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John Neal (left) and Samuel Smith. (Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) John Neal (left) and Samuel Smith. (Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)

Two Spartanburg men were charged with cruelty to children after a 3-year-old girl was found with severe bruises on her backside, deputies said.

The girl's mother called Spartanburg County deputies after finding her daughter's butt covered in bruises and her ex-husband said his roommate had spanked her, according to a deputy's report.

Deputies said the girl's father 23-year-old John Neal lives with 35-year-old Samuel Smith and their girlfriends. They said Smith sometimes watches the girl when Neal is at work and has custody of her. Deputies said one night earlier in February, Smith spanked her several times after she had wet and pooped her pants.

When deputies questioned Smith, they said he admitted to spanking her and seeing the bruises but did not think his punishment was too severe. Deputies said Smith did say admit knowing what he did was wrong and said, "I know I am going to jail for what I did."

Smith told deputies he also hit the girl because she talked back saying, "You know how 3-year-olds can talk," according to the report.

When asked why he did not report the abuse, the girl's father said he did not want to lose his place to live with Smith and did not think the bruising too severe when he talked with Smith, deputies said. Deputies said the bruising did not look like a hand caused it but Smith said he spanked her with his hand.

Both Neal and Smith were arrested on Tuesday.

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