Investigators detail horrifying abuse of Upstate 8-year-old girl
Victim when rescued: “This is the best day of my life”
WELLFORD, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested four adults on child abuse charges after a doctor said a young girl’s injuries met the criteria for a medical diagnosis of child torture.
According to the sheriff’s office, on Sept. 2, deputies responded to Waspnest Road to assist the Department of Social Services (DSS) with a detailed child abuse allegation that the agency had received from an anonymous source.
Deputies say, upon arrival, they were informed by a caseworker that DSS had come out to the home on several occasions to investigate, but the four adults at the home had hidden the victim, an 8-year-old girl.
Four children of various ages were found in the home, but the girl had a noticeable limp and temporary tattoos covering multiple visible bruises on both legs, deputies say.
The four adults were identified as the girl’s father 25-year-old Ian Tatro, 24-year-old Tenika Draper, 47-year-old Trina Rae Draper and 28-year-old Ryan Dezotelle, who all recently moved to Spartanburg County from Vermont.
Full bond hearing for suspects:
Tenika Draper admitted to putting makeup on the victim’s leg to cover up the bruising once DSS started coming to the house.
During a bond hearing on Friday, the solicitor’s office said multiple family members made the girl eat cat feces and cat food. The child had scars on her knees from kneeling in a crate and was beaten with boards, cords and a frying pan, according to the solicitor’s office.
The solicitor’s office said the victim’s father gave her laxatives and made her wear pull-ups. He reportedly told the child he “wished he could kill her and get away with it.”
A spokesperson for the solicitor’s office said the victim told investigators when she was rescued, “This is the best day of my life.”
The sheriff’s office said all four children were placed into emergency protective custody with DSS and the victim was taken to the hospital and admitted due to the extent of her bruising and blood loss concerns.
She spent two days in the hospital after she was removed from the home.
Deputies say medical personnel and one of the investigators spoke with the victim at the hospital where more detailed information was discovered.
It was also discovered, after the evaluation of a forensic doctor, that the 8-year-old girl met the criteria for a medical diagnosis of child torture.
A search warrant was also executed at the house which led to the discovery of more evidence that further corroborated the victim’s disclosure.
The four suspects are charged with the following:
- Tatro is charged with 13 counts of unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of obstruction. His bond was set at $90,000.
- Tenika Draper is charged with 11 counts of unlawful neglect of a child and three counts of obstruction. Her bond was set at $98,000.
- Trina Draper is charged with five counts of cruelty to children, three counts of obstruction and one count of assault and battery. Her bond was set at $23,000.
- Dezotelle is charged with three counts of cruelty to children, three counts of assault and battery and two counts of obstruction. His bond was set at $24,000.
During bond hearings on Friday, a judge said none of the suspects can return to the home where the abuse occurred or have contact with any of the children. They were all placed on GPS monitoring and will be on home detention if they bond out of jail.
Copyright 2022 WHNS. All rights reserved.