UPDATE: Details emerge in the Mardela Springs child abuse investigation; two charged

Two women are in custody after authorities say they abused three children in their care
Left to right: 25-year-old Besline Joseph, of Mardela Springs; and 29-year-old Amanda Wright, of Mardela Springs

Two women are in custody after authorities say they abused three children in their care, including using a taser and forcing them to eat dog feces, in Wicomico County. Court records reveal details of the abuse.

According to court records from the District Court of Maryland for Wicomico County, a cousin reported alleged child abuse against three children in the care of Amanda Wright and her live-in girlfriend, Besline Joseph, both of Mardela Springs. On Wednesday morning, 29-year-old Wright and 25-year-old Joseph were arrested at their home, in the 14000 block of Norris Twilley Road, where the abuse against a 8-year-old, 9-year-old, and 10-year-old reportedly happened, in Mardela Springs.

During the investigation, the three children apparently revealed details of the abuse against them. Court records show that the 10-year-old told a Child Protective Service worker that he was beaten multiple times by Joseph with a brown extension cord in November 2017. The child was also reportedly smacked across the head with a black taser approximately five times in the summer of 2017. Courts records show that during that time, Joseph tased the 9-year-old on his legs and the 8-year-old on his arms.

According to the report, Joseph beat the 9-year-old which resulted in a bloody nose that left blood stains on the bedroom floor of the the two women. Court documents state the 10-year-old was tased on numerous occasions by Wright and Joseph  for not matching up laundry correctly, forgetting to feed the dog and eating food that the two women did not want him to have. As stated in Wicomico County court documents, on January 26, Wright ordered the 10-year-old to get a plate out of the kitchen, go outside, get dog feces from the yard, and put it in his mouth. The child was reportedly allowed to spit the dog feces out  after he was forced to chew on it.

In December 2017 and January 2018, the 10-year-old was forced to stay and sleep in the laundry room with the dog when he was home.The child was reportedly only allowed to eat and relieve himself. As of January 30, the child was still forced to stay and sleep in the laundry room.

Court records revealed that the 10-year-old and 8-year-old were locked in the living room closet for approximately four months in the summer of 2017. The children were fed bread, water, and oatmeal, and the 10-year-old was only allowed out of the closet to eat and use the restroom. The children would reportedly urinate on themselves as a result of not being let out of the closet. The 10-year-old reported that he and his siblings were tased with a black taser that was on the dresser in the women’s bedroom.

Based on court records, the 8-year-old reported that a stick, a belt, and a cord were used during some of the beatings. The 8-year-old also reported that Wright threatened him stating that if he told anyone about their “business”, she would cut their throats and bury them in the back yard. According to the report, the 8-year-old child was still sleeping in the basement as of January 30.

In the Wicomico County Courts records, a relative of Wright states that the children are punished harshly, and she stopped going to the Wright’s house because of how the children are treated. The relative alleges that in the summer of 2017, she spent time at the Mardela Springs home and witnessed Wright and Joseph lock the 10-year-old and the 8-year-old in the living room closet using a “slide lock.” The children reported that they were locked in the living room closet with a gold pad lock and the inside door knob was removed and put in a water heater by Wright.

Court records show that at one point, the 8-year-old reported that he was pushed into the washing machine and cracked his head. It is alleged that an uncle later glued the laceration together on his head.

According to court documents, the 9-year-old reported that he and his brothers were accused of taking snacks from Joseph and were tased as a result. The 9-year-old also reported that Jospeh made the 10-year-old eat dog feces after school, on January 26. In regards to reporting the abuse, court records show that the 8-year-old stated that he couldn’t tell anyone if he was being hurt because Joseph would hurt his 9-year-old brother.

In one incident, court records reveal that a 14-year-old relative of Wright spent time at the home on weekends. In that incident, the children were reportedly threatened with tasers, grabbed by the neck, slung across the room, and locked in a closet. The 14-year-old was also reportedly tased with a black taser that had the word “police ” on it and chased around the house with the device as well. Court records show that Wright also tased the 8-year-old in the legs for eating french fries and the 29-year-old beat the 10-year-old with a spear.

Wright and Joseph are currently being held without bond at the Wicomico County Detention Center.

The two women are charged with three counts each of first degree child abuse, second degree child abuse, first degree assault, second degree assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a minor, stalking, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, false imprisonment and one count each of causing ingestion of a bodily fluid, preventing/interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect, and conspiracy to commit first degree child abuse.

At this time, 47ABC is choosing not to identify the relationship between the women and the children to protect their identity.

This investigation is ongoing.

For more information on the warning signs of ongoing child abuse and the difficulties of abuse investigations like this case, click here.

Categories: Local News, Maryland