When Asked Her Name, Abused Girl Replies 'Idiot'

She's only 4 years old
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2016 9:28 AM CDT
When Asked Her Name, Abused Girl Replies 'Idiot'
Clarence Reed and Jennifer Denen.   (Hot Springs (Ark.) police)

The details of the physical abuse are bad enough, but a different type of detail is particularly heinous: Police say that when a 4-year-old girl was rescued from an abusive home in Arkansas, she thought her name was "idiot" because she'd been called it so often, reports the Sentinel-Record of Hot Springs. Before she was taken into state custody, the girl had lived with her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend, and authorities say she was regularly zip-tied to furniture for offenses such as climbing on cabinets. Her mother told police that the boyfriend also hit the girl with a plastic baseball bat, but he says it was a thick wooden paddle.

The girl had ligature marks on her wrists from the restraints, along with bruises all over her body and scars on her back. Jennifer Denen, 30, and Clarence Reed, 47, are being held on several felony counts of child abuse. Reed admitted to regularly calling the girl "idiot," but says it was a joke. Denen, meanwhile, admitted that she failed to seek medical attention for her daughter. Police tell the Washington Post that five other of Denen's children lived in the home, including an 11-month-old fathered by Reed. The 4-year-old girl and the infant are in protective custody, and the other four kids are with their biological father. "Makes me mad," a stunned neighbor tells OzarksFirst.com. (In Ohio, police say they found a neglected boy trying to sell his teddy bear for food.)

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